Navigators Group Upped to Strong Buy - Analyst Blog

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded Navigators Group Inc. ( NAVG ) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on May 13, 2014.

Why the Upgrade?

Navigators Group has been witnessing a rise in earnings estimates on the back of strong first-quarter 2014 results and a significant growth momentum. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 13.50%. Additionally, this property and casualty insurer had posted positive earning surprises in the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 49.06%.

Navigators Group reported its first-quarter results on May 7 with operating earnings of $1.45 per share, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 97 cents by 49.48%. The results also exceeded the prior-year quarter figure of 75 cents per share.  

Results benefited from strong top-line growth, an increase in net investment income and higher premiums.

Net income grew substantially year over year, while gross written premiums and net written premiums rose 7.5% and 15.7%, respectively. The combined ratio improved to 92.2% from 97.9% in the year-ago quarter. On the flip side, a 5.5% rise in total expenses was recorded.

Based on Navigators Group's fundamental strength, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 moved north by 7.0% to $4.16 per share over the last 30 days. Meanwhile, the estimate for 2015 rose 5.8% to $4.55 per share during the same period.

Other Stocks to Consider

Investors eyeing the property and casualty insurance industry may also consider other top-ranked players such as AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. ( AFSI ), Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, AG ( AWH ) and Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. ( AHL ). All these stocks sport the same Zacks Rank as Navigators Group.


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AMTRUST FIN SVC (AFSI): Free Stock Analysis Report

ASPEN INS HLDGS (AHL): Free Stock Analysis Report

ALLIED WORLD AS (AWH): Free Stock Analysis Report

NAVIGATORS GRP (NAVG): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AFSI , AHL , AWH , NAVG

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