On Apr 2, 2013, shares of
) hit a 52-week high of $25.68. The company generated total of 39
cents in earnings in January and February, with premiums
increasing year over year in both the months.
ARCH CAP GP LTD (ACGL): Free Stock Analysis
AXIS CAP HLDGS (AXS): Free Stock Analysis
MONTPELIER RE (MRH): Free Stock Analysis
PROGRESSIVE COR (PGR): Free Stock Analysis
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Progressive's operating earnings and premiums' growth as well as
debt-to-total capital ratio in the first two months of this year
reflect overall constant improvement. Policies in force also
remained healthy. Progressive remains focused on maintaining a
healthy policy life expectancy, which is a significant measure to
Progressive delivered positive earnings surprise in two quarters
of 2012. However, average surprise was a negative 4.85% due to
poor performance in the second quarter. Nevertheless, our proven
model shows that the property & casualty insurer is likely to
beat earnings in the first quarter of 2013 because it has a right
combination of a positive Earnings ESP (Read:
Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method
) and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). ESP or Expected Surprise
Prediction, which represents the difference between the Most
Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is +4.65%.
Progressive is scheduled to release its first-quarter 2013
earnings results on Apr 10. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the
first quarter is currently pegged at 43 cents, representing a
year-over-year increase of 1.3%.
Valuation for Progressive looks stretched. The shares are trading
at a considerable premium to the peer group average both on a
price-to-book basis and on a forward price-to-earnings basis.
Comparatively, return on equity is 29% higher than the peer group
Progressive presently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Property and casualty insurers like
AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd
Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd
Arch Capital Group Ltd.
), among others, also carry a Zacks Rank #1 and appear