Back to top

Analyst Blog

This page is temporarily not available.  Please check later as it should be available shortly. If you have any questions, please email customer support at or call 800-767-3771 ext.  9339.

On Oct 5, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. (AHL - Snapshot Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Aspen has been experiencing rising earnings estimates on the back of improved market trends post its second-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, strong capitalization and reduced pricing pressure served as impressive factors.

Additionally, this property-casualty insurer delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 34.2%. Aspen also outperformed the one-year S&P index, which posted a 15.7% increase against the healthy return of 16.6% clocked by the company.

On Jul 24, Aspen reported second-quarter 2013 operating earnings per share of 63 cents, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 67 cents and the year-ago quarter number of $1.32.

While year-over-year growth of 5.3% in net written premiums boosted the top line, higher loss, loss adjusted and policy acquisition expenses reduced the underwriting income. Net investment income also decreased 60% over the prior-year quarter. Consequently, combined ratio, book value per share and return on equity (ROE) deteriorated from the year-ago quarter.

However, in the last couple of months, Aspen’s strategic focus on optimizing its business portfolio and initiatives to expand in the U.S. have been showing results. Alongside, prudent risk management and efficient deployment of excess capital reflect a healthy capital position and score well with the ratings agencies. These factors should help Aspen achieve ROE of 10% in 2014, auguring a durable long-term growth potential.

Based on Aspen’s fundamental strength and capital management, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 rose 5.4% to $3.14 per share in the last 60 days. Moreover, the Most Accurate Estimate for Aspen’s 2013 earnings stands at $3.95 a share, resulting in an Earnings ESP of 25.8%.

Meanwhile, the estimate for 2014 remained intact at $3.27 in the last 60 days. Furthermore, no downward revision in estimates was witnessed for both the years.

Other Stocks to Consider

Apart from Aspen, other outperforming insurers in the industry include Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings AG (AWH - Snapshot Report), Global Indemnity Plc (GBLI) and Montpelier Re (MRH - Analyst Report). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

Learn more

Start for as little as $4.50 per trade.

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
DIXIE GRP IN DXYN 15.84 +7.90%
BOFI HLDG IN BOFI 85.30 +4.97%
RAMBUS INC RMBS 12.31 +4.41%
VIPSHOP HOLD VIPS 148.73 +4.35%
NETFLIX INC NFLX 345.74 +4.32%