XL Group Upgraded to Outperform - Analyst Blog
On Mar 15, we upgraded
XL Group plc
) to Outperform based on its strong fourth-quarter performance
and continued efforts to enhance shareholder value. This property
and casualty insurer presently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Why the Upgrade?
XL Group's fourth-quarter 2012 earnings came in at 13 cents, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 35 cents per share. Revenues increased 1.9% from the year-ago period to $89.5 million, easily surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.7 billion. Over the past four quarters, XL Group has delivered an average surprise of 54.2%.
XL Group witnessed upward estimate revisions following its earnings release. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 inched up 4.1% to $2.54 as 4 of 16 estimates were revised higher over the last 30 days.
Why the strong positive bias on the company? With a strong international exposure and a diversified suite of product offering, we believe that the company is well positioned to write higher premiums fueling top-line growth, going forward.
The board of directors approved a $850 million share repurchase program along with a 27% hike in its quarterly dividend, which will further boost the bottom line.
The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 9.4%.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from XL Group, other stocks in the property and casualty sector that are currently performing well include Arch Capital Group Ltd . ( ACGL ), Cincinnati Financial Corp . ( CINF ) and EMC Insurance Group Inc . ( EMCI ). All these companies carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
ARCH CAP GP LTD (ACGL): Free Stock Analysis Report
CINCINNATI FINL (CINF): Free Stock Analysis Report
EMC INSURANCE (EMCI): Free Stock Analysis Report
XL GROUP PLC (XL): Free Stock Analysis Report
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