On Feb 22, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Fidelity National Financial, Inc
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Fidelity National has been witnessing rising earnings estimates
on the back of solid fourth-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this
well-known property and casualty insurer delivered positive
earnings surprises in all of the last 4 quarters with an average
beat of 9.5%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for
this stock is 2%.
Fidelity National reported fourth-quarter results on Feb 12.
Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at 43 cents, surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 19.4%. However, earnings declined 40%
year over year.
Nonetheless, the company witnessed a 3.2% decline in expenses
year over year, attributable to lower personnel costs and other
operating expenses. Fidelity National recognized an estimated
$150 million in annualized synergies. It is targeting $180
million to $190 million by the end of the first quarter and at
least $225 million by the end of the second quarter.
Fidelity National also targets debt-to-total-capital ratio at
around 35% at the end of the first quarter.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in 2014 increased 8.2%
to $2.10 per share as half of the estimates were revised higher
over the last 30 days. For 2015, 1 of 3 estimates was revised
higher over the same time frame, lifting the Zacks Consensus
Estimate for the year by 7.5% to $2.29 per share.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other players in the property and casualty industry that look
attractive at current levels include
AmTrust Financial Services, Inc
). All these stocks carry the same Zacks Rank as Fidelity
ACE LIMITED (ACE): Free Stock Analysis Report
AMTRUST FIN SVC (AFSI): Free Stock Analysis
FIDELITY NAT FI (FNF): Free Stock Analysis
RLI CORP (RLI): Free Stock Analysis Report
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