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Argo Group (ARGO) Core Business in Focus, Cat Loss Concerns

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Argo Group International Holdings’ (ARGO - Free Report) strategic focus to improve profitability, growth efforts, expense initiative program, investment in technology and a solid capital position poise it well for growth.

Argo Group’s has a solid earnings surprise history. It surpassed estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed in one, the average being 356.68%.

ARGO remains focused on improving underwriting profitability. Its exit from reinsurance operations and non-core lines of business, reduction of property exposure substantially, lower volatility and increase in rates will help the company achieve its target.

Recently, Argo Group agreed to divest Argo Underwriting Agency Limited and its Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200 to Westfield as part of its strategic review to improve profitability.  Also, the loss portfolio transfer is expected to lower earnings volatility and improve ARGO’s regulatory capital position.

Argo Group’s highly profitable businesses are poised to grow further in attractive markets.

Argo Pro, Casualty, Construction, Environmental, Inland Marine and Surety contribute two-thirds of the U.S. premium base. ARGO aims double-digit net earned premium growth and a combined ratio between 92 and 95 in 2022.

Argo Group is on track with its expense initiative program and estimates an expense ratio of 36 in 2022.

However, being a property and casualty insurer, it is exposed to catastrophe losses that induce volatility in underwriting profitability and affect the combined ratio.

Nonetheless, Argo Group consistently invests in technology that in turn helps ARGO to improve operating efficiency and risk selection while reducing overall expenses.

Argo Group anticipates generating an operating return on common equity between 9% and 11% in 2022. ARGO boasts a solid balance sheet with modest financial leverage.

Some Key Industry Players

Some key stocks from the insurance industry include Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B - Free Report) ), American Financial Group (AFG - Free Report) and Arch Capital Group (ACGL - Free Report) .

Berkshire Hathaway delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 17.55%. BRK.B boasts one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies measured by premium volume. BRK.B should continue to benefit from its growing Insurance business as well as Manufacturing, Service and Retailing, and Finance and Financial Products segments. Continued insurance business growth fuels an increase in float, drives earnings and generates maximum return on equity. With Warren Buffett at its helm, Berkshire continues to create tremendous value for shareholders.

American Financial delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 37.09%. American Financial, a niche player in the P&C markets, will benefit from its strategic acquisitions, improved pricing, higher renewal ratio, solid capital position and effective capital deployment. AFG estimates earnings of $10.75 to $11.75 per share in 2022.

Arch Capital delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 33.64%. New business opportunities, rate increases, growth in existing accounts and solid capital position poise it well for growth.





 

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