On Mar 20, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd. to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Platinum Underwriters witnessed rising earnings estimate on the back of strong fourth-quarter 2012 results, which included a positive earnings surprise of 37.31%. Moreover, this property and casualty insurer delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 out of 4 quarters in 2012 with an average beat of 46.27%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 8%.
Platinum reported its fourth-quarter results on Feb 6. Earnings per share came in at 92 cents surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 67 cents. Results also improved 73.6% year over year from 53 cents in the year-ago period.
Results largely benefited from strong reserve releases and realized gains as well as moderate catastrophe losses.
Top line improved 1.4% year over year to $185.5 million, driven by strong improvement in net realized gains on investment (up 2470.3% year over year).
Expenses in the fourth quarter witnessed a sharp decline of 72.1%, attributable to an 18.5% decline in net acquisition expenses.
Combined ratio improved 7680 basis points year over year to 25.4% in the fourth quarter.
During the fourth quarter, Platinum purchased 0.1 million shares for $6.1 million
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 3.5% to $3.15 per share as 1 of 4 estimates was revised upward over the last 60 days.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other property and casualty insurers like Arch Capital Group Ltd. (ACGL - Free Report) , Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CINF - Free Report) and Navigators Group Inc. (NAVG - Free Report) , carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and are worth noting.