On Jul 6, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Symetra Financial Corporation
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) in view of the scheduled
divestiture of the Symetra Investment Services (SIS) which is
expected to bring long-term profitability for the company.
Reasons for Upgrade
In Jun 2013, Symetra Financial entered into an agreement with
John Hancock, an operating unit of
Manulife Financial Corporation
) to divest one of its subsidiaries, Symetra Investment Services.
SIS was not a much profitable unit of SYA and thus the company
decided to divest it. Apart from fetching cash this divestiture
is expected to help the company concentrate on core operations,
thereby boosting profitability.
Besides, Symetra Financial continues to increase shareholders'
value through dividend payouts and share repurchases. In May this
year, Symetra Financial declared a cash dividend of 8 cents per
share which represents a 14.3% hike over its previous dividend
level. Earlier in the first quarter, the company deployed $4.2
million to repurchase 0.3 million shares.
The company has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimates in two of
the past four quarters. Its first-quarter 2013, results were
strong, including an 8.8% positive earnings surprise.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 2.2% to $1.41 per
share as many estimates were revised upwards over the last 90
days, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 5.5%. Over the same
time frame, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 increased 2.7%
to $1.51 per share, representing a year-over-year increase of
Symetra Financial is scheduled to release its second quarter 2013
earnings results on Jul 24, 2013. The Zacks Consensus Estimate
for the second quarter 2013 is currently pegged at 34 cents per
Other Stocks to Consider
Among other stocks,
StanCorp Financial Corporation
) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and
China Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) appear impressive.
CHINA LIFE INS (LFC): Free Stock Analysis
MANULIFE FINL (MFC): Free Stock Analysis
STANCORP FNL CP (SFG): Free Stock Analysis
SYMETRA FINL CP (SYA): Free Stock Analysis
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