On Mar 9, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Assured Guaranty Ltd.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
ASSURED GUARNTY (AGO): Free Stock Analysis
ASSURANT INC (AIZ): Free Stock Analysis
CIGNA CORP (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report
CNO FINL GRP (CNO): Free Stock Analysis
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Why the Upgrade?
With the fourth-quarter earnings beat, Assured Guaranty delivered
three straight quarters of positive earnings surprise with an
average of 16.3%.
Additionally, On Jan 18, 2013, the board of directors of Assured
Guaranty approved a $200 million share repurchase program.
Further, on Feb 7, the board also approved an 11% hike in its
Assured Guaranty reported its fourth-quarter results on Feb 27.
Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at 94 cents, surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 32.4%.
Results benefited largely due to higher terminations of
structured finance exposures as well as refunding of public
Top line improved 19.2% year over year to $447 million, driven by
strong improvement in net premiums earned (up 32.1% year over
Expenses in the fourth quarter witnessed a sharp decline of 41%
attributable to a 57% decline in loss and loss adjustment
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 is $2.55 per share, down 9%
year over year. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate is
currently pegged at $2.64 per share, up 3.7% year over year.
Other Stocks to Consider
Multiline insurers such as
CNO Financial Group
) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and
) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), among others, are worth noting.