On January 8, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
HCC Insurance Holdings
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
HCC INS HLDGS (HCC): Free Stock Analysis
SELECT INS GRP (SIGI): Free Stock Analysis
ALLEGHANY CORP (Y): Free Stock Analysis
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Why the Upgrade?
HCC Insurance has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on
the back of a solid third-quarter performance, conviction to
attain the guided earnings for 2012, strategic partnerships and
new product offerings. Moreover, this specialty insurance
underwriter delivered positive earnings surprises in all the 4
quarters with an average beat of 25.6%. The expected long-term
earnings growth rate for this stock is 7.3%.
HCC Insurance reported its third-quarter results on October 30.
Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at $1.09, surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 45.3% and the year-ago number by 95%.
The upside largely came on the back of higher premiums written
and investment income.
Based on the solid performance of the company in the first nine
months of 2012, HCC expects to meet its earnings per share
projection of $3.50-$3.65. HCC Insurance expects to generate $2.8
billion in gross written premium, $2.3 billion in net written
premium and deliver combined ratio in the range of 84%-86%. The
Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 is $3.43 per share, lower than
the company's guidance but up nearly 32% year over year.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 is $1.63 per share, up 1.5%
as 7 of the 10 estimates were revised higher over the last 60
Other Stocks to Consider
Besides HCC Insurance, other stocks in the property and casualty
insurers segment that are currently performing well and are worth
Selective Insurance Group Inc.
). Both the companies carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).