On Jun 13, 2014, shares of
The Hanover Insurance Group Inc.
) scaled a 52-week high of $63.40. With about 0.29 million shares
exchanging hands in the last trading session, shares closed at
The year-to-date return from the stock came in at 29.8%, which was
ahead of the S&P's return of 19.0%.
With respect to earnings performance, the property and casualty
insurer has delivered 11 straights quarters of positive surprise.
In the last reported quarter, with operating earnings of $1.16,
Hanover Insurance delivered a positive surprise of 26%. While net
premiums written improved on the strength of better performance at
Chaucer and Commercial Lines, Commercial and Personal Lines
continues to witness price increase.
It also scores strong with the credit rating agency. A.M. Best Co.
reiterated the issuer credit rating (ICR) of "bbb" Hanover
Insurance. The rating agency also maintained the financial strength
rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and ICR of "a" of its subsidiaries.
The ratings carry a stable outlook.
With respect to enhancing shareholders' value, the company has been
increasing dividend over many years. Its dividend yield of 2.38%
betters the industry average of 2.17%. This, in a way, helps to
retain investor confidence in the stock as well as attract new
Steady operational performance by Hanover Insurance helped the
Zacks Consensus Estimate to move north in the last 60 days. The
Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 is currently pegged at $4.80 for
2014, after increasing 2.8% as half of the estimates were revised
higher. The same for 2015 increased 1.5% as most of the estimates
moved north over the same time frame. The expected long-term growth
rate for the stock is 4.8%.
Hanover Insurance carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other Stocks to Consider
Some better-ranked property and casualty insurers worth considering
W.R. Berkley Corporation
AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.
Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc.
). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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