On Apr 8, 2013, shares of Assurant Inc. ( AIZ ) hit a 52-week
high of $45.78.
Assurant is well placed to benefit from the gradually improving
insurance pricing cycle. The company's Assurant Solutions segment
has been performing well over the past several quarters. The
company has also taken several steps to improve business in the
Over the longer time horizon, the international business is
anticipated to continue growing steadily, and the domestic business
should rebound as the economy improves and consumer electronics
spending recovers, leading to overall revenue growth.
Moreover, at Assurant Health insured membership is expected to
increase as consumers look for affordable health care
Assurant has a very good capital management policy in place.
Traditionally Assurant has been utilizing 50% of its free cash flow
for repurchasing shares.
Assurant's Specialty property business is expected to see a
decline in placement rates and will likely worsen with the impact
of price reductions -- thereby resulting in a plunge in revenues
over the next two years.
With respect to earnings trend, Assurant delivered positive
earnings surprise in all four quarters of 2012 with an average of
46.21%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the first quarter is
currently pegged at $1.53 per share. Assurant is scheduled to
release its first-quarter 2013 earnings results on Apr 24.
Valuation for Assurant looks attractive. The shares are trading
at a 16.7% discount to the peer group average on price-to-earnings
basis and at a 6.1% premium on a price-to-book basis. Nevertheless,
return on equity is nearly 63% higher than the peer group
average. Also, the 1-year return from the stock is 16.9%, much
above S&P's return of 11.8%.
Assurant presently carries a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy). Other
insurers like CIGNA Corp. ( CI ) , MGIC
Investment Corp. ( MTG ) and FBL
Financial Group Inc . ( FFG ) among others,
carry a favorable Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy) and appear impressive.ASSURANT INC (AIZ): Free Stock Analysis ReportCIGNA CORP (CI): Free Stock Analysis ReportFBL FINL GRP-A (FFG): Free Stock Analysis
ReportMGIC INVSTMT CP (MTG): Free Stock Analysis
ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.