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On Apr 10, 2013, we upgraded Everest Re Group, Ltd. (RE - Analyst Report) to Outperform from Neutral on the back of its improved underwriting performance in the recent quarters, which will lead the company to report better than expected results in the upcoming quarters. This property and casualty insurer carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
 
Why the Upgrade?
 
Everest Re’s U.S. Reinsurance segment has been performing quite well recently. Management continues to reduce the casualty business to focus on underwriting profit. The company has been witnessing hikes in renewal rates in the property lines business. Thus, we expect meaningful rate increases, particularly in the regions mostly affected by catastrophes.
 
Everest Re realigned its insurance segment to emerge in those businesses that would allow a meaningful and sustainable long-term growth.
 
Everest Re has grown its business in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. Rate increases, beginning last year in Latin America and continuing into this year in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, are likely to lead to more positive results. We have noticed that much of the company’s top-line growth in the past few years has been generated from its overseas business and the trend is expected to continue in the future.
 
We expect Everest Re to benefit from its capital adequacy, financial flexibility, good long-term operating performance and traditional risk management capabilities.
 
Over the last 60 days, 6 of 10 estimates moved north pushing the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 to $14.16 by 4.3%.  Also 3 of 10 estimates were raised for 2014 to $15.09 by 2.7% over the same time frame. 
 
Other stock 
 
Cincinnati Financial Corp. (CINF - Analyst Report), Chubb Corp. (CB - Analyst Report) and Arch Capital Group Ltd. (ACGL - Snapshot Report), among other property and casualty insurer, are, carrying Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and are worth considering. 

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