Allstate Corp.ALL earnings for the first quarter to be reported on May 1, will gain from a decline in the tax rate to 19% to 20%, from a low 30% range earlier. Investments made in growth in many of its market facing businesses through marketing, distribution, telematics, new products and technology, should also yield results.
In 2018, Allstate brand Property-Liability, Allstate Benefits, SquareTrade and Esurance are all expected to contribute to growth, which should also be seen in the first quarter.
Within Ensurance, auto and homeowners insurance retention increased throughout 2017, and the trend is expected to continue in 2018. Naturally, the first quarter of 2018 may not be an exception.
Nevertheless, net premium has been declining at Encompass for the past two years. Decline in premium and policies in force in states with inadequate returns have impacted the overall top-line trends, to some extent. The business is getting smaller as the company exited unprofitable markets and raised prices. This will shrink top line from the segment and we don't expect the segment to witness premium growth in the first quarter.
Then again, after suffering from declining income in its investment portfolio for the past many years, due to market volatility and low interest rates, the company is gradually gaining ground. Net investment income rose 11.8% in 2017, reflecting higher performance-based results and stable income from market-based portfolios. We expect further improvement in investment income with an increase in interest rates.
Earnings Surprise History
The company boasts an attractive earnings surprise history, having surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, with an average positive surprise of 58.04%. This is depicted in the chart below:
The Allstate Corporation Price and EPS Surprise
The Allstate Corporation Price and EPS Surprise | The Allstate Corporation Quote
Why a Likely Positive Surprise?
Our proven model indicates that chances of Allstate beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate is high as it has the right combination of the two key ingredients - positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better.
You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they're reported with our Earnings ESP Filter
Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP for Allstate is +3.55%.
Zacks Rank: Allstate has a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP.
Other Stocks That Warrant a Look
Here are some companies that you may consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:
American Financial Group, Inc. AFG is expected to report first-quarter 2018 results on May 2. The company has an Earnings ESP of +4.46% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here
National General Holdings Corp NGHC is expected to report first-quarter 2018 earnings results on May 7. The company has an Earnings ESP of +5.59% and a Zacks Rank #1.
American Equity Investment Life Holding Company AEL has an Earnings ESP of +5.99% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to report first-quarter earnings results on May 2.
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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free reportAmerican Equity Investment Life Holding Company (AEL): Free Stock Analysis ReportThe Allstate Corporation (ALL): Free Stock Analysis ReportAmerican Financial Group, Inc. (AFG): Free Stock Analysis ReportNational General Holdings Corp (NGHC): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research