On Jan 22, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
) by a notch to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Kemper has been riding on a strong growth momentum ahead of
its fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 results, which are slated
to release after the closing bell on Feb 6, 2014. The growth
impetus stems from improved core fundamentals in 2013, driven by
diversified product mix along with lower insurance and operating
expenses. Lower catastrophes losses have also supported the
improvement in underwriting efficiencies.
Alongside, favorable market trends should help mitigate risks
on investments, thereby generating improved returns. The
company's efforts to strengthen its catastrophe risk management
and reserves further boosts its growth prospects. These factors
along with an incremental return of capital are deemed impressive
by investors and ratings agencies.
Kemper has performed equally well with the comparable one-year
S&P 500 index, which posted an increase of 24.1% against a
return of 24.2% clocked by the company. Additionally, this
multi-line insurer delivered positive earnings surprise of 56.8%
in its last reported quarter.
On Oct 31, Kemper reported third-quarter 2013 operating
earnings per share of 69 cents, which outpaced both the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of 44 cents and the year-ago quarter number of
42 cents. Robust increase in operating incomes across most
segments more than offset the minor shortfall in the Life and
Kemper has been experiencing rising earnings estimates
following its robust third-quarter 2013 results. The Zacks
Consensus Estimate for 2013 moved north by 6.4% to $2.50 per
share in the last 60 days. Earnings per share for 2013 is also
projected to surge over 174% over 2012.
Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 earnings rose
0.8% to $2.47 over the same 60-day period. No downward revision
in estimates was witnessed for both the years.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other top-ranked insurers in the industry include
American International Group Inc.
CNO Financial Group Inc.
). All these stocks carry the same Zacks Rank as Kemper.
AMER INTL GRP (AIG): Free Stock Analysis
CNO FINL GRP (CNO): Free Stock Analysis
KEMPER CORP (KMPR): Free Stock Analysis
WHITE MTN INS (WTM): Free Stock Analysis
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