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Kemper (KMPR) Gains 15% in a Year: Will the Rally Continue?

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Kemper Corporation (KMPR - Free Report) shares have gained 15.4% in a year in contrast to the industry's decrease of 15.1%. With market capitalization of $5.1 billion, average volume of shares traded in the last three months was 0.3 million.

The company continues to benefit from its compelling product portfolio and sufficient liquidity. Kemper has a stellar record of delivering positive surprise in the last 15 quarters.

Return on equity (ROE) of 12% in the trailing twelve months was better than the industry average of 7.5%, reflecting the company’s efficiency in utilizing shareholders’ fund.  The company aims to generate low double-digit ROE over the longer term.

Can It Retain the Momentum?    

Kemper intends to pursue businesses that have niche market focus with minimal competition. The company remains committed to invest in profitable organic growth at suitable risk-adjusted returns or make strategic investment and acquisitions that boost business and meet or exceed its ROE targets over time.

As only 7% operating income is derived from investment income, market and interest rate risk is limited. Also, 90% of its fixed maturities and short-term securities investment portfolio is investment grade.

Kemper noted solid long-term growth at its Specialty Property &Casualty Insurance segment, riding on significant growth opportunities at solid margins. It is already realizing benefits from the ongoing profitability improvement endeavors at its Preferred Property & Casualty Insurance segment. The Life and Health Insurance segment continues to lead to diversified cash flow generation.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) multiline insurer has an active catastrophe reinsurance program to lower volatility from high frequency and low-severity events to limit loss from catastrophes.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings indicates 5.1% year-over-year increase on 0.2% higher revenues of nearly $5 billion.

Kemper boasts a strong balance sheet with significant financial flexibility. As on Jun 30, 2020, the company had $943 million of available committed contingent liquidity and no near-term debt maturities. Its debt-to-capital ratio of 15.7 compares favorably with the industry average of 30.8.

With respect to enhancing shareholders value, the company has raised its dividend thrice since last year.

The consensus estimate for 2020 and 2021 has moved a respective 5.4% and 1.4% north in the past 30 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism. The company’s VGM Score of A is also encouraging. Here V stands for Value, G for Growth and M for Momentum, with the score being a weighted combination of all three factors.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked companies in the insurance industry are Donegal Group (DGICA - Free Report) , Kinsale Capital Group (KNSL - Free Report) and Fidelity National Financial (FNF - Free Report) , each sporting Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Donegal Group delivered earnings surprise of 134.62% in the last reported quarter.

Kinsale Capital delivered earnings surprise of 20.00% in the last reported quarter.

Fidelity National delivered earnings surprise of 53.52% in the last reported quarter.

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