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Reasons Why Brighthouse (BHF) Stock is an Attractive Pick Now

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Brighthouse Financial, Inc. (BHF - Free Report) is well-poised for growth, driven by a well-diversified and high-quality portfolio, higher underwriting margin and strong annuity sales.

Estimate Revision

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Brighthouse’s 2022 earnings has moved 0.6% north in the past 60 days. This should instill investors' confidence in the stock.

Earnings Surprise History

Brighthouse has a decent earnings surprise history. Its earnings beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average being 67.61%.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Brighthouse currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). In the past year, the stock has rallied 46.2%, outperforming the industry’s increase of 3.1%.

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

Style Score

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

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

Business Tailwinds

Brighthouse remains well poised for growth, with solid performances by the Annuities, Life and Run-off segments. Riding on higher alternative investment income, well-diversified and high-quality portfolio as well as conservative investment strategy, Brighthouse’s adjusted net investment income is expected to improve.

The Run-off segment is likely to gain on the back of higher net investment income and a higher underwriting margin.

Brighthouse remains focused on ramping up annuity and life insurance sales through its widening distribution footprint and enhancement of its product portfolio.

BHF witnessed record sales for both Shield Level and variable annuities with FlexChoice Access in the third quarter.

BHF remains focused on expanding its distribution footprint as well as enhancing its existing suite of products. In August 2021, it launched several enhancements to Shield Level annuities. Also, with the addition of new firms and expansion into the brokerage general agency distribution channel, it enhanced the distribution footprint for the life insurance product, SmartCare.

Continued strong sales should support Brighthouse Financial’s total annuity net inflows. The life insurer expects continued favorable shift in business mix over time as it adds a higher cash-flow-generating and less capital-intensive new business, along with the runoff of less profitable business.

The life insurer boasts of balance sheet strength and continues to maintain a robust capital and cash position. BHF estimates combined risk-based capital or RBC ratio in the range of 520% to 540%, which is well above its target range of 400% to 450% in normal market conditions.

Solid statutory balance sheet and sufficient cash continue to support the repurchase strategy. Currently, it has $877 million remaining under its share repurchase authorization.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other top-ranked stocks from the life insurance sector include American Equity Investment Life Holding (AEL - Free Report) , Athene and Sun Life Financial (SLF - Free Report) . While American Equity sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),  Atheneand Sun Life Financial carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

American Equity’s earnings surpassed estimates in two of the last four quarters and missed in the other two, the average beat being 31.49%.
In the past year, AEL has gained 40.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings has moved 5.7% north in the past 60 days.

Athene delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 46.12%. In the past year, the stock has gained 93.9%.

Athene has an impressive Value Score of A that reflects the attractive valuation of the stock. ATH has a favorable VGM Score of B. VGM Score helps identify stocks with the most attractive value, best growth and the most promising momentum.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Sun Life Financial’s 2022 earnings implies 9.09% year-over-year growth. SLF delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 7.74%.

In the past year, Sun Life Financial has gained 23.7%. The expected long-term earnings growth rate is 9%. SLF has an impressive Value Score of A that reflects the attractive valuation of the stock. 

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