On Oct 8, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Hanover Insurance Group Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Hanover has been experiencing rising earnings estimates on the
back of improved market trends following its robust
second-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, strong capitalization and
reduced pricing pressure are deemed impressive.
Additionally, this leading property-casualty insurer delivered
positive earnings surprises in the last 4 quarters with an
average beat of 24.1%. Hanover also outperformed the year-to-date
S&P index, which posted an increase of 18.0% against the
robust return of 43.5% clocked by the company.
On Jul 31, Hanover reported second-quarter 2013 operating
earnings per share of $1.05, which outpaced both the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of 69 cents and the year-ago quarter number of
While year-over-year growth of 3.9% in earned premiums boosted
the top line, lower-than-expected loss and loss adjusted expenses
boosted the margins, bottom line and combined ratio. Although net
investment income decreased marginally over the prior-year
quarter, an improved book value per share and return on equity
(ROE) reflected a healthy capital position.
Hanover consistently focuses on a diversified product
portfolio and strong agency distribution strategy, which enables
it to navigate through the current market volatility and tap
healthy market opportunities. Alongside, prudent expense and risk
management as well as effective capital deployment scores well
with the investors.
Based on Hanover's fundamental strength and capital
management, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 rose 5.5% to
$4.42 per share in the last 60 days. Moreover, the Most Accurate
Estimate for Hanover's 2013 earnings stands at $4.54 a share,
resulting in a positive
Meanwhile, the estimate for 2014 remained intact at $4.63 over
the last 60 days. Furthermore, no downward revision in estimates
was witnessed for both the years.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from Hanover, other outperforming insurers in the
Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings AG
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
ALLIED WORLD AS (AWH): Free Stock Analysis
MONTPELIER RE (MRH): Free Stock Analysis
EVEREST RE LTD (RE): Free Stock Analysis
HANOVER INSURAN (THG): Free Stock Analysis
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