Maiden Holdings Hits 52-Week High on Solid Q4 Results - Analyst Blog

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On Mar 25, 2015, shares of Maiden Holdings, Ltd. MHLD scaled a 52-week high of $14.95 per share on the back of solid fourth quarter 2014 performance.

The year-to-date return from the stock came in at 12.2%, which was significantly higher than Nasdaq's return of 2.9%.

Strong Fourth-Quarter Results

Maiden Holdings' fourth-quarter 2014 operating net earnings of 44 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 39 cents by 12.8%. Earnings improved 47% year over year.

An improved top line offset the increase in expenses leading to the stellar performance in the quarter. The company continues to increase its active client count, expand existing client relationships and grow the invested asset base.

Total revenue in the quarter increased 23.7% year over year to $641.9 million. Higher premiums written and increased investment income led to the improvement in revenues generated. The reported results also outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $613 million.

The continued rate increases in workers' compensation as well as new business from the Tower Group renewal rights transaction in AmTrust Quota Share Reinsurance segment led to the rise in net premiums written during the quarter. However, this was offset by lower premiums written at the Diversified Reinsurance segment. The results at the Diversified Reinsurance segment were in turn attributable to one-time increase experienced in Europe due to promotional offers in the year-ago quarter.

Despite lower interest rates, the property and casualty insurer successfully deployed cash for productive investments throughout the year, while adhering to a low volatility fixed-income investment strategy. This resulted in a record net income in the quarter.

Additionally, the company continues to target the Original Equipment Automobile Manufacturer market in Europe. Furthermore, it has successfully positioned itself for new business in 2015 and beyond with commitments from new clients and expanded relationships with its existing insurer partners.

Moreover, the company remains focused in providing capital solutions in advance of risk-based capital standards, thereby expanding its international footprint. The company expects the implementation of Solvency II -- a regulatory regime which seeks to promote financial stability, enhance transparency and facilitate harmonization among insurance and reinsurance companies to pave the way for numerous opportunities in 2016.

Currently, Maiden Holdings carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other Stocks to Consider

Better-ranked stocks from the property and casualty insurance space include Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, AG AWH , Arch Capital Group Ltd. ACGL and Fidelity National Financial, Inc. FNF . All of these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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MAIDEN HOLDINGS (MHLD): Free Stock Analysis Report

FNF GROUP (FNF): Free Stock Analysis Report

ARCH CAP GP LTD (ACGL): Free Stock Analysis Report

ALLIED WORLD AS (AWH): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: MHLD , FNF , ACGL ,

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