Riding on a steady growth momentum, shares of
Reinsurance Group of America Inc.
) hit its 52-week high at $77.11 on Dec 23.
Particularly, this global life and health reinsurer's shares
rose about 9.7% since the company reported its third-quarter 2013
results at the end of October with a positive earnings surprise
of 17.6%. The improved momentum of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock
is driven by improved underwriting standards coupled with
Yesterday's closing price represents a strong one-year return
of about 43.4% against a return of 27.8% clocked by the S&P
500 index. Average volume of shares traded over the last three
months stands at approximately 375.8K.
On Oct 28, Reinsurance Group reported third-quarter 2013
operating earnings per share of $2.14, modestly beating both the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.82 and the year-ago quarter
earnings of $1.35.
Results reflected higher consolidated premiums (up 6% over the
prior-year quarter) and other revenues, partially offset by
reduced investment returns. However, lower total expense (down
2.6%) and share count boosted results.
Overall, Reinsurance Group's capital position remains one of
the sturdiest in the industry, cushioned by an improving
operational mix across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific.
This is reflected by the company's healthy capital deployment and
ratings along with a strong annualized return on equity (ROE)
growth of 13% at the end of Sep 2013.
Further, valuation looks reasonable for Reinsurance Group. The
shares are trading at about 21% premium to the peer group average
on a forward price-to-earnings basis and about 12% discount on a
price-to-book basis. While return on equity of 6.0% stood below
the peer group average, return on assets of 1.0% was pegged
fairly above the same benchmark. Even the estimated long-term
earnings growth is pegged at 6.9%, lower than the peer group
average of 9.7%.
Along with Reinsurance Group, other stocks that warrant a look
in the life insurance sector include
Manulife Financial Corp.
American Equity Investment Life Holding Co.
). All these stocks carry the same Zacks Rank as Reinsurance
AMER EQUITY INV (AEL): Free Stock Analysis
MANULIFE FINL (MFC): Free Stock Analysis
PRIMERICA INC (PRI): Free Stock Analysis
REINSURANCE GRP (RGA): Free Stock Analysis
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