On Jan 23, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
CNA Financial Corp.
) by a notch to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
CNA Financial has been riding on a strong growth momentum
ahead of its fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 results, which are
slated to release on Feb 10, 2014. The growth impetus stems from
improved core fundamentals throughout 2013, which are cushioned
by strong operating leverage and a modest capital position.
CNA Financial also outperformed the one-year S&P 500
index, which posted an increase of 24.1% against a return of 42%
clocked by the company. Additionally, this global property and
casualty (P&C) insurer delivered positive earnings surprises
in the straight last three quarters, with an average beat of
On Oct 28, CNA Financial reported third-quarter 2013 operating
earnings per share of $1.00, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of 76 cents by 31.6% and the year-ago quarter number of
80 cents by 25%.
Higher premiums and lower catastrophe losses improved the
combined ratio and bottom line across both P&C and specialty
segments. Higher rates and improved underwriting efficiency are
further expected to drive the results in the upcoming quarters.
Strong expense, risk and claims administration along with
effective credit management score well with the investors and
CNA Financial has been experiencing rising earnings estimates
following its robust third-quarter results and a strong outlook
affirmed by ratings agencies. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for
2013 moved north by 2.7% to $3.45 per share in the last 60 days.
The estimate for fourth-quarter 2013, in particular, shot up 4.9%
to 85 cents a share.
Moreover, the Most Accurate estimate for CNA Financial's 2013
earnings stands at $3.63 a share, resulting in an
Further, the estimate for 2014 rose 0.9% to $3.40 over the
same 60-day period. No downward revision in estimates was
witnessed for either year.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other top-ranked insurers in the industry include
Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd.
Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd.
). All these stocks carry the same Zacks Rank as CNA
ASPEN INS HLDGS (AHL): Free Stock Analysis
CNA FINL CORP (CNA): Free Stock Analysis
ENDURANCE SPLTY (ENH): Free Stock Analysis
PARTNERRE LTD (PRE): Free Stock Analysis
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