The two most important factors concerning the insurance industry are impact of two catastrophe events and uncertainty over the next rate hike.
The third-quarter results of non-life insurers will be hurt by the two hurricanes — Harvey and Irma — that rampaged Houston, Texas Gulf Coast and regions ranging from Caribbean to Florida. Losses from these catastrophes will surely upset the underwriting results dragging the bottom line.
While The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV - Free Report) projects pre-tax catastrophe loss between $375 million and $750 million or $245 million and $490 million after-tax, Assurant Inc. (AIZ - Free Report) projects between $134 million and $140 million pre-tax of reportable catastrophe losses, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums resulting from the Harvey tropical storm. Assurant also projects loss from Irma to exceed its retention of $125 million pre-tax.
However, there is still a faint ray of hope to harp on. For such catastrophes will help insurer increase price that remained flat due to a not-so-active catastrophe environment. Also, cautious underwriting should help insurers from capital erosion.
The cloud of uncertainty regarding the next rate hike makes investors eagerly wait for the upcoming FOMC Meeting on Sep 19. While the Federal Reserve has already hiked rates twice in 2017, everybody now eagerly awaits the third one. Good news is that the Fed announced intention for three rate hikes in 2017.
However, at the annual central banking conference in Jackson Hole, WY on Aug 25, no hints were dropped about the next hike in interest. In fact, lack of signals about the announcement of the next rate hike was interpreted as ‘dovish’ by the markets.
Benefits of improving rates could already be seen in insurers’ results. Progressing economy, encouraging employment data, stringent underwriting standards as well as influx of capital instill confidence among investors.
It’s every investor’s wish to invest in stocks that are currently undervalued but have great growth potential. Value investors always look to put money in stocks that tend to trade at a lower price or the value is lower than the intrinsic one whereas, growth investors look for stocks with earnings increase relatively better than the market. Therefore growth investors ideally search for value stocks to reap better returns.
It’s a daunting task to zero in on stocks, currently undervalued yet with high-growth offer. Here comes our Zacks Rank and Style Scores that help identify such stocks. Back-tested results have shown stocks with Style Scores of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy) offer the best upside potential.
We take Value Score and Growth Score of A or B and Buy-ranked stocks to select such stocks.
Florida-based Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (HIIQ - Free Report) develops, distributes and administers cloud-based individual health and family insurance plans and supplemental products in the United States. The company has a Zacks Rank #1 with a Value Score of B and a Growth Score of A. The company delivered positive surprises in the last four quarters with an average beat of 87.49%.
Health Insurance Innovations is witnessing upward estimate revisions — up 6.8% for 2017 and 5.7% for 2018, respectively, — over the last 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 reflects a year-over-year improvement of 39.5% on revenue growth of 24.1% while the same for 2018 is 18.7% on revenue growth of 17.3%.
Shares of Health Insurance Innovations gained 19.0% year to date compared with the industry’s rally of 14.8% over the same time frame.
Illinois-based Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc. (AFH - Free Report) engages in underwriting commercial automobile insurance policies in the United States. The company has a Zacks Rank #1 with the same Value Score and a Growth Score of B. The company delivered positive surprises in two of the last four quarters with an average beat of 57.94%. Atlas Financial is witnessing upward estimate revisions — up 4.5% for 2017 and 2.6% for 2018, respectively — over the last 60 days.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 reflects a year-over-year rise of 389.3% on revenue growth of 28.1%, while the same for 2018 is 20.4% on revenue growth of 17.2%.
Shares of Atlas Financial have lost 3.8% year to date versus the industry’s increase of 8.6% over the same time frame.
Wisconsin-based MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG - Free Report) provides primary insurance to cushion lenders against non-payment of individual loans and expands home ownership opportunities by enabling people to purchase homes with leaner down payments. The company has a Zacks Rank #2 with a Value Score as well as a Growth Score of B.
The company delivered positive surprises in the last four quarters with an average beat of 31.88%. MGIC Investment is witnessing upward estimate revisions — up 7.6% for 2017 over the last 60 days.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 reflects year-over-year growth of 14.1%.
Shares of MGIC Investment have gained 13.2% year to date in contrast to the industry’s increase of 3.8% over the same time frame.
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