On Aug 19, 2014, shares of
Voya Financial, Inc.
) scaled a 52-week high of $38.88 on a solid second-quarter
earnings beat. With about 1.01 billion shares exchanging hands in
the last trading session, shares closed at $38.79, gaining 0.6%.
The year-to-date return from the stock came in at 10.5%, which was
ahead of S&P return of 7.2%.
With respect to earnings performance, this life insurer delivered
positive earnings surprises in three of last four quarters with an
average beat of 19.7%. In the last reported quarter, Voya Financial
delivered operating earnings of 83 cents per share outperforming
the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 18.6%. Net income of 96 cents per
share also rebounded from the year-ago net loss. This improvement
came on the back of better performance at Retirement Solutions and
Investment Management Business.
The company engages in share buybacks that in turn aid the bottom
line. With $30.5 million spent for buyback in the last quarter,
Voya Financial's board of directors increased the authorization by
Voya Financial expects a $500-$700 million block of multi-year
guaranteed annuities to flow out in third-quarter 2014, favoring
the performance as the block has low returns. The life insurer also
hopes to make investments in order to drive business growth in the
rest of the year. Voya Financial also expects Retirement's return
on capital to increase over next four quarters due to the
reinsurance agreement entered with a third-party reinsurer for a
block of deferred fixed annuities. The adjusted return on equity is
targeted at 12-13% for 2016.
In its consistent effort to improve the financial position and
increase return on capital, Voya Financial has struck a deal to
transfer 0.17 million term life policies with a face value of $100
billion to Reinsurance Group of America Inc. (
), creating excess capital of $200 million.
The life insurer also scores strongly with the credit rating
agencies. Early July, A.M. Best has upgraded the outlook of Voya
Financial to positive from stable.
This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has been witnessing upward revisions
in the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last 30 days. For 2014, the
Zacks Consensus Estimate moved north by 4% to $2.86 per share as 7
of 8 estimates moved up, while for 2015, it rose 1.3% to $3.17 as
all of the 8 estimates moved north.
Other Stocks to Consider
Investors interested in life insurance companies could consider
stocks like Fidelity & Guaranty Life Common (
) and Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (
). While Fidelity & Guaranty Life Common sports a Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy), Health Insurance Innovations has a Zacks Rank #2
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REINSURANCE GRP (RGA): Free Stock Analysis
HEALTH INS INN (HIIQ): Free Stock Analysis
FIDELITY&GUARNT (FGL): Free Stock Analysis
VOYA FINANCIAL (VOYA): Free Stock Analysis
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