Assurant Inc. (AIZ - Analyst Report) recently announced the successful completion of restatement of its Revolving Credit Agreement with lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp.
A revolving credit agreement is a legal commitment in which a bank promises to lend a customer up to a specified maximum amount during a specified period
The new credit agreement of $350 million replaces the existing 3 year old facility of the same amount that is slated to expire in December 2012.
The deal will have a tenor of three years and will contain a feature of stretching the credit amount to $525 million, subject to certain preconditions.
The transaction will have an effect of strengthening Assurant’s balance sheet while providing additional financial flexibility and liquidity in the coming years. It also shows strong support from lenders and their continued confidence in the company.
The facility will be used to fund general working capital needs and commercial paper requirements.
Assurant ended second quarter with $650 million of cash and liquid securities at the holding company. The company has a deployable capital of approximately $400 million after adjusting for management’s desired cushion of $250 million. The debt to capital ratio rests conservatively at 17.8%, in line with the last quarter.
Assurant also engages in active capital management via share repurchases and dividend payment. We believe its steady share repurchase philosophy will help it to maintain its EPS growth in a declining operating earnings environment.
Assurant Inc., headquartered in New York City, is a leader in providing highly specialized insurance products to niche markets. Through its four operating segments, the company primarily engages in the business of providing creditor-placed homeowners' insurance, debt protection, credit insurance, warranties and extended service contracts, pre-funded funeral insurance, individual and small group health and group dental, disability, and life insurance.
Assurant closely competes with Unum Group (UNM - Analyst Report) and Reinsurance Group of America Inc. (RGA - Analyst Report) and is carrying a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a Hold rating over the short term (1-3 months). The company is expected to release third quarter earnings on October 26, after the closure of the markets. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for third quarter EPS is $1.08, up 9.5% year over year.