On Jul 5, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
StanCorp Financial Group Inc
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
AMERIPRISE FINL (AMP): Free Stock Analysis
CHINA LIFE INS (LFC): Free Stock Analysis
STANCORP FNL CP (SFG): Free Stock Analysis
SYMETRA FINL CP (SYA): Free Stock Analysis
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Why the Upgrade?
StanCorp Financial delivered positive earnings surprises in the
last 4 quarters with an average beat of 21.1%. The long-term
earnings growth of the company is presently pegged at 7%.
The company continues to work on pricing actions to mitigate the
higher group long-term disability claims incidence and a
continued low interest rate environment.
StanCorp's investment portfolio continues to perform well with no
considerable exposure to high-risk asset classes.
StanCorp enjoys a strong capital position, enabling it to remain
focused on enhancing shareholder value. StanCorp envisions
buybacks between $40 million and $80 million in 2013.
Additionally, its dividend yield stands at 1.82%, well above the
industry average of 1.51%.
The last reported quarter benefited from lower operating expenses
and management expects it to decline through 2013.
We expect the life insurer to surpass expectations when it
reports its second-quarter results on Jul 23. This is
because it has a right combination of a positive Earnings ESP
Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method
) and 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 at +2.0%.
Additionally, for the second quarter, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate is pegged at $1.00 per share, up 96.6% year over year.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 1% to $3.97 per
share over the last 60 days, reflecting a year-over-year increase
of 22.6%. The same for 2014 is pegged at $4.30, increasing 0.7%
over the same time frame and translating to a year-over-year
improvement of 8.3%.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from StanCorp Financial,
Symetra Financial Corporation
) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
China Life Insurance Co. Ltd
Ameriprise Financial Inc
), both with Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) are also worth considering.