On Jun 20, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Hilltop Holdings Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Hilltop Holdings reported strong positive surprises in the
last 2 quarters. On May 6, 2013, this property and casualty
insurance company reported first-quarter 2013 operating earnings
per share of 39 cents, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
31 cents and the year-ago quarter figure of 1 cent. Net income
stood at $32.4 million, significantly improving from $0.3 million
in the year-ago quarter.
During the reported quarter, Hilltop Holdings' total revenue
was $280.5 million, spiking from both the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $273 million and the year-ago quarter's $38.1
The year-over-year upside was primarily attributable to robust
growth in both interest and non-interest income primarily due to
the inclusion of banking, mortgage origination and financial
advisory operations through the acquisition of PlainsCapital
Corp. in Nov 2012.
Moreover, despite the challenging operating environment,
Hilltop Holdings' balance sheet remains risk-free and fairly
liquid. The cash flow is improving, while the company follows a
regular inorganic growth strategy to boost earnings and expand
Further, Hilltop Holdings holds a comfortable position as per
the regulatory requirement of the Texas Department of Insurance.
As of Mar 31, 2013, the company's insurance subsidiaries had a
statutory surplus in excess of the minimum amount required.
Moreover, the company's Tier 1 risk-based capital (RBC) stood
well above the regulatory requirements.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Hilltop Holdings' 2013
earnings per share stands at $1.39, rebounding from a loss of 13
cents in 2012.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other property and casualty insurers worth considering, with a
Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), are
Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd.
United Fire Group Inc.
HILLTOP HLDGS (HTH): Free Stock Analysis
MONTPELIER RE (MRH): Free Stock Analysis
UNITED FIRE GRP (UFCS): Free Stock Analysis
ALLEGHANY CORP (Y): Free Stock Analysis
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