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Here's Why You Should Retain Athene (ATH) in Your Portfolio

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Athene Holding, Ltd. (ATH - Free Report) has been favored by investors on the back of its higher level of sales, growth in investment portfolio and strategic relationship with Apollo.

Growth Projections

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings per share is pegged at $9.79, indicating year-over-year increase of 52.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2021 and 2022 revenues is pegged at $6.7 billion and $6.8 billion, indicating year-over-year increase of nearly 26.2% and 2.3%, respectively.

Estimate Revision

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 and 2022 has moved 8.3% and 0.2% north, respectively in the past 30 days. This should instill investors' confidence in the stock.

Earnings Surprise History

Athene has a decent earnings surprise history. It beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, with the average being 43.49%.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Athene currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The stock has rallied 96.5%, outperforming the industry’s increase of 25.7% in the past year.

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

Style Score

The company has a favorable VGM Score of A. VGM Score helps to identify stocks with the most attractive value, best growth and the most promising momentum.

Business Tailwinds

Athene’s top-line growth is expected to gain from higher pension risk transfer (PRT) premiums and increase in premiums from flow reinsurance, strong performance of the indices, higher level of sales, growth in investment portfolio and growth in the block of business.

In the first quarter of 2021, Athene completed a large scale PRT transaction that generated $2.9 billion of inflows. This transaction with JCPenney was Athene's largest PRT transaction to date as well as the largest in the United States during the quarter.

Athene had inked a deal to merge with Apollo Global Management in an $11 billion all-stock deal, expected to be completed in January 2022. The deal is expected to consolidate value-generative strategic alignment with Apollo, preserve Athene’s profitable business operations, drive attractive premium and ensure regular capital return via dividends to be paid to shareholders of combined business.

Athene generated $8.2 billion of gross organic inflows, which marked the second highest quarter of organic inflows, and has averaged 26% over the past three years (2018 – 2020). It boosts new business growth. Also, the company expects healthy organic growth to continue in 2021.

Athene remains well capitalized with nearly $18 billion of aggregate regulatory capital and an under levered balance sheet. At present, it has more than $8 billion of deployable capital, which comprises excess equity capital of $3.6 billion.

Further, its debt to capital of 9.7% was better than the industry average of 10.8%. A lesser debt burden relative to the industry is encouraging.

Based on a robust capital position, the life insurer is engaged in prudent capital deployment via share repurchases and has $221 million remaining in existing share repurchase authorization.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the insurance sector include Manulife Financial Corp (MFC - Free Report) , Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CINF - Free Report) and Alleghany Corporation (Y - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The bottom line of Manulife Financial surpassed estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed in the other one, the average being 13.01%.

Cincinnati Financial surpassed estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed in the other one, the average earnings surprise being 17.63%.

Alleghany’s earnings surpassed estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average being 128.63%.

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