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Amerisafe (AMSF) Rides on Strong Underwriting Profitability

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Amerisafe, Inc. (AMSF - Free Report) has been exhibiting strong operating performance, reflected by stronger-than-expected underwriting results over the years. The results were driven by favorable prior-year reserve development. The strong operating performance positions the company for solid growth after an extended phase of soft revenues since 2015 that continued through 2019.

Amerisafe has experience of 34 years as a specialty provider of workers’ compensation insurance for small to midsize employers in high-hazard industries. The line of business that the insurer follows is profitable. The business rakes in higher premium owing to inherent workplace dangers associated with such policies.

The company is known for its balance sheet strength, strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

Amerisafe also flaunts a competitive edge in specialized underwriting expertise as is evident by its combined ratios, which are at more favorable levels than peers. The company’s combined ratio has remained below 100% since 2006, except in 2011, which indicates underwriting profitability. Its focus on loss control and safety programs as well as active claims management has generated strong underwriting results.

The company also boasts an efficient operating platform. Through extensive cost-management initiatives, Amerisafe executes one of the most efficient operations in the workers’ compensation industry. This has enabled the company to maintain its operating return on equity at 17.1%, which is above the industry’s ROE of 13.5%.

Amerisafe is delivering solid cash flow from operations since many years. Favorable cash flow generation along with absence of any long-term debt prepares the company to adopt a disciplined capital management strategy. Also, its capital management policy via acquisitions, steady dividend and annual payouts since 2014 along with share buybacks has boosted shareholders’ value.

In the past year, the stock has gained 17.8% against the industry’s decline of 7.12%.  

Amerisafe also carries an investment grade rating from A.M. Best with a stable outlook on risk-adjusted capitalization, consistent profitable operating performance as well as established position and experience in the workers’ compensation market for high-hazard risks.

Amerisafe currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Some other top-ranked stocks in the insurance space are American Financial Group Inc. (AFG - Free Report) , Axis Capital Holdings Limited (AXS - Free Report) and Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CINF - Free Report) .

Each of these stocks carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

American Financial, Axis Capital Holdings and Cincinnati Financial surpassed their estimates in the last reported quarter by 0.45%, 150% and 10.81%, respectively.

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