On Jun 15, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Markel has witnessed rising earnings estimates on the back of
strong first-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this property and
casualty insurer delivered positive earnings surprises in the
past 4 quarters with an average beat of 119%. The long-term
expected earnings growth rate for this stock is
Markel reported first-quarter results on Apr 30. Non-GAAP
earnings per share came in at $7.65 per share, surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.46 by 40.1% and year-ago earnings
of $4.02 by 35.8%. Solid underwriting results, driven by lower
expense ratio, more favorable development of prior-year loss
reserves and lower attritional losses, aided the upside.
Operating revenues improved 12% year over year to $820 million
fueled by a 6% increase in revenues from insurance operations and
a 67% surge in revenues from Markel Ventures.
Premiums benefited both organically as well as inorganically.
Additionally, the company closed the purchase of Alterra Capital
Holdings Limited in May 1. The acquisition is expected to
strengthen its present specialty insurance business, on the back
of Alterra's reinsurance and large account insurance portfolios.
Moreover, to consolidate its underwriting platform, the company
added two new businesses -- Markel Global Insurance (large
commercial accounts) and Markel Global Reinsurance -- which will
be combined with Markel Specialty, Markel Wholesale and Markel
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 jumped 22% to $24.17 per
share as all 4 estimates were revised higher over the last 60
days. For 2014, half of the estimates were revised higher over
the same time frame, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7.6%
to $25.7 per share.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from Markel, property and casualty insurers
HCI Group, Inc
Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd
Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd
) among others, carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and appear
HOMEOWNERS CHCE (HCI): Free Stock Analysis
MARKEL CORP (MKL): Free Stock Analysis Report
MONTPELIER RE (MRH): Free Stock Analysis
PLATINUM UNDRWT (PTP): Free Stock Analysis
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