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CNA Financial (CNA) Benefits From Segmental Performance

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CNA Financial Corporation (CNA - Free Report) is well-poised for growth, driven by higher premiums across its operating segments, growth in invested asset base as well as effective capital deployment.

Growth Projections

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CNA Financial's 2021 and 2022 earnings per share is pegged at $4 and $4.45, indicating growth of 48.1% and 11.2%, respectively, from the year-ago reported figures. The expected long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 5%.

Estimate Revision

Estimates for 2021 and 2022 earnings have moved up 8.4% and 3.9%, respectively, in the past 60 days, which reflects investors’ optimism.

Earnings Surprise History

CNA Financial has a decent earnings surprise history. It beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average being 19.68%.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

CNA Financial currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). In the past year, the stock has rallied 15.5% compared with the industry’s growth of 11.5%.

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

Return on Equity (ROE)

The company’s ROE for the trailing 12 months is 9.4%, better than the industry average of 5.6%, reflecting the company’s efficiency in utilizing shareholders’ funds.

Style Score

CNA Financial has a favorable VGM Score of B. VGM Score helps identify stocks with the most attractive value, best growth and the most promising momentum.

CNA Financial has an impressive Value Score of A that reflects the attractive valuation of the stock.  

Back-tested results show that stocks with a Style Score of A or B, when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2, offer the best opportunities.

Business Tailwinds

CNA Financial continues to witness a positive trend in premium growth across its three operating segments, Specialty, Commercial and International.
New business growth, continued strong rate, lower net catastrophe losses, improved non-catastrophe current accident year underwriting results and higher net earned premium are likely to boost the operations of each of the three segments.

The fixed-income portfolio continues to provide consistent earnings. The ongoing low-interest-rate environment is largely offset by returns in the limited partnership portfolio, common stock returns, improved current accident year underwriting results and growth in invested asset base that majorly contribute to its net investment income.

Higher net earned premiums and a favorable acquisition ratio contribute to an improvement in the expense ratio, whereas lower net catastrophe losses and improved non-catastrophe current accident year underwriting results are expected to improve the loss ratio.

Lower expense ratio as well as underlying loss ratio is expected to improve the underlying combined ratio of the insurer. The underlying combined ratio in the third quarter was a record low for the third consecutive quarter.

CNA Financial boasts a conservative capital structure with a leverage ratio of 18% and continues to maintain capital above target levels. Financial flexibility provides sufficient liquidity to meet obligations and withstand significant business variability.

Based on operational excellence, CNA Financial’s dividend payments have witnessed a CAGR of 24.1% in the past nine years (2013-2021) and currently yield 7.4%, which is better than the industry average of 0.4%. This makes the stock an attractive pick for yield-seeking investors.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other top-ranked stocks from the property and casualty insurance sector are Kinsale Capital (KNSL - Free Report) , Fidelity National Financial (FNF - Free Report) and Hallmark Financial Services (HALL - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kinsale Capital’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, the average beat being 37.63%. In the past year, KNSL has gained 14.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 and 2022 earnings has moved 15.2% and 11.7% north, respectively, in the past 60 days.

Fidelity National’s earnings surpassed estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average beat being 38.18%. In the past year, FNF has gained 32.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings has moved 4.6% north, in the past 30 days.

The bottom line of Hallmark Financial surpassed estimates in two of the last four quarters and missed the same in the other two, the average being 53.62%. In the past year, Hallmark Financial has rallied 34.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings has moved 60% north, in the past 60 days.