On May 18, Zacks Investment Research upgraded ProAssurance Corporation (PRA) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
ProAssurance has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong first-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this property and casualty insurer delivered positive earnings surprises in the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 17.7%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 7.5%.
ProAssurance reported first-quarter results on May 6. Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at 97 cents, striding ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 76 cents as well as the year-ago quarter’s earnings of 78 cents per share.
Top-line growth of nearly 8% as well a 10% decline in total expenses aided the improvement.
Total revenue of ProAssurance increased 8% to $195 million from $180.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenues also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $175 million.
The combined ratio of ProAssurance improved to 70.5% from 76.6% in the comparable quarter last year,
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 5% to $3.97 per share as most of the estimates were revised higher over the last 30 days. For 2014, 2 of 4 estimates were revised higher over the same time frame, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.6% to $3.63 per share.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from ProAssurance, other property and casualty insurers such as AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (AXS), Hilltop Holdings Inc. (HTH) and Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. (MRH), among others carry a favorable Zacks Rank # 1 (Strong Buy) and appear impressive.
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