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Growth & Income

Unitrin, Inc. (UTR) is expected to generate long-term EPS growth of 20%, while offering a dividend yield of 3.7%.

Company Description

Unitrin provides property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, and consumer finance services for individuals, families, and small businesses. Its principal business are Kemper, Unitrin Direct, Unitrin Specialty, and Career Agency Companies.

Fourth-Quarter Results

On Feb 1, Unitrin had revenue of $730.9 million, up 17% from 4Q08. It also earned $0.96 per share, an increase of 75% year-over-year and 37 cents ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Additionally, Unitrin increased its book value to $30.75 and lowered its debt-to-total capitalization ratio to 22.6%

On March 1, UTR paid a quarterly dividend of $0.22 per share, an increase of $0.02 from the year-ago quarter.

Higher Estimates

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2010 increased by 14 cents after the company reported fourth-quarter results. There were no prior estimates for 2011.

For the last 30 days, consensus estimates have held steady. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2010 is $2.34, and the fiscal 2011 Zacks Consensus Estimate is $2.36.

Moreover, Unitrin has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 103% in four out of the last five quarters. If recent history can be used as a guide, there is a good chance for the company to top EPS estimates in the next few quarters.

Reasonable Valuation

UTR shares are trading at just 11.4x 2010 consensus estimates. That valuation looks appealing, given that analysts expect the company to achieve annual EPS growth of 20.0% for the next five years.

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