Investors interested in Finance stocks should always be looking to find the best-performing companies in the group. Aflac (AFL) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? Let's take a closer look at the stock's year-to-date performance to find out.
Aflac is one of 844 companies in the Finance group. The Finance group currently sits at #9 within the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different sector groups. The average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups is measured, and the sectors are listed from best to worst.
The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. Aflac is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Over the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AFL's full-year earnings has moved 5.3% higher. This signals that analyst sentiment is improving and the stock's earnings outlook is more positive.
Based on the latest available data, AFL has gained about 16.8% so far this year. In comparison, Finance companies have returned an average of 15.3%. This means that Aflac is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.
One other Finance stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is Assured Guaranty (AGO). The stock is up 17.4% year-to-date.
For Assured Guaranty, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 59.7% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Looking more specifically, Aflac belongs to the Insurance - Accident and Health industry, which includes 5 individual stocks and currently sits at #49 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have gained 15.2% this year, meaning that AFL is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.
Assured Guaranty, however, belongs to the Insurance - Multi line industry. Currently, this 34-stock industry is ranked #27. The industry has moved +5.7% so far this year.
Going forward, investors interested in Finance stocks should continue to pay close attention to Aflac and Assured Guaranty as they could maintain their solid performance.
The New Gold Rush: How Lithium Batteries Will Make Millionaires
As the electric vehicle revolution expands, investors have a chance to target huge gains. Millions of lithium batteries are being made & demand is expected to increase 889%.