U.S. Markets closed

5 Worth-Picking Insurers with Solid Yields for September

Zacks Equity Research

The insurance industry has been struggling to cope up with massive catastrophic losses, significant regulatory reforms as well as major upheavals in the financial markets of late. Given this bleak scenario, picking the prospective winning stocks and making a prudent investment decision for the best returns may seem an uphill task.

Catastrophe Looming Large

With the recent occurrences of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the insurance industry is anticipating an apparent dent in the underwriting results, thereby affecting overall performance.

Per the catastrophe modeler AIR Worldwide, the estimate for insured losses from Irma could range between $25 billion and $35 billion. Also, per AIR Worldwide, the projected insured losses for Maria will vary between $40 billion and $85 billion.

Further, AIR Worldwide has provided an insurance industry loss estimate following the huge impact of the 8.1 magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico in early September. The figure enormously ranges between $0.8 billion and $1.1 billion. Per the same global catastrophe risk modeler, the industry loss estimate is expected up to $2.1 billion, following another tremor that rocked Mexico on Sep 19, 2017.

However, the insurance industry can still find some hope and fall back on such disasters to induce substantial price rise that has been flat owing to a not-so-active catastrophe environment.  

Despite the mounting losses, which are sure to have a negative impact on the insurers’ overall results, such tropical storms can be touted as a blessing in disguise as in catastrophic events are a necessary evil to the insurance industry for improving their pricing to eventually minimize competition.

We wait and see if such catastrophe losses and weather-oriented events have the capacity to reduce the already large capital reserve and bring a change to the insurance pricing cycle in the near term.  

Interest Rate Environment  — Impact on the Insurance Industry

It did not come as a surprise when the Federal Reserve kept the interest rates unchanged, ranging between 1% and 1.25% at its meeting on Sep 20, 2017.  However, investors are still looking forward to another interest rate hike this year, as indicated by the policymakers at the meeting. Interestingly, the Fed committee also expects to raise interest rates three times in 2018. Hence, the market is pinning hopes on the next rate hike, which is likely boost the insurance industry’s prospects and help insurers strengthen their market position.

A progressing rate environment will lessen the pressure on the insurers’ investment income, thus boosting their earnings. This in turn will accelerate the insurance companies’ overall growth in the future.

Certain Other Factors Influencing the Insurance Industry

Apart from colossal catastrophe losses, there are factors to impact the industry performance in the near term as well.

Low inflation, for which the Federal Reserve could not deliver any proper explanation, is expected to remain at 1.6% — falling shy of the 2% target that is considered good for the economy.

Hence, low inflation, rapidly changing climatic conditions and the short-term push to the gasoline prices, render uncertainty to the Federal Reserve’s decision as when to increase interest rates in the immediate term.

On the brighter side, a reviving housing market is anticipated to enhance insurable exposures and premiums written. But we wait and see if this momentum continues in the short term as well. Additionally, an improving employment scenario and a positive consumer sentiment buoy optimism.

Outperformers in September

Despite widespread catastrophic losses and challenging market conditions, improved interest rates and an improving economy have lent a silver lining to the cloud of calamities for insurers. These are capable of reaping profits through underlying strength and business modification.

We zeroed in on five insurers that have outperformed in September despite all odds based on price performance and a favorable Zacks Rank backed by positive estimate revisions.

Stamford, CT-based The Navigators Group, Inc. NAVG underwrites ocean marine, property and casualty, professional liability plus specialty insurance products and services in the United States as well as internationally. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings per share moved up 2.4% to $2.54 for 2017 and 2.9% to $2.41 for 2018 over the last 60 days.

This is reflected through the company’s Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Notably, expected earnings growth for the current financial year is 7.2%.   

Shares of Navigators Group have gained 4.6% compared with the industry’s increase of 1.4% and the S&P 500 index’s gain of 1.7%.



Carmel, IN-based CNO Financial Group, Inc. CNO develops, markets and administers health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance and other insurance products for senior and middle-income markets in the United States. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings per share moved up 1.9% to $1.62 for 2017 and 0.6% to $1.69 for 2018 over the last 60 days. This is represented by the company’s Zacks Rank #2. Expected earnings growth for the current financial year is 10.2%.      

Shares of CNO Financial have gained 3.1% compared with the industry’s growth of 3.0% and the broader market’s gain of 1.7%.



West Des Moines, IA-based FBL Financial Group, Inc. FFG sells individual life insurance and annuity products. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings per share scaled up 4.7% to $4.45 for 2017 and 1.2% to $4.35 for 2018 over the last 60 days. This is again reflected through the Zacks #2 Ranked company. Expected earnings growth for the current financial year is 4.7%.      

Shares of FBL Financial have gained 8.2% compared with the industry’s increase of 3.0% and the S&P 500 index’s gain of 1.7%.



Chesterfield, MO-based Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated RGA provides individual and group life plus health insurance products besides asset-intensive and financial reinsurance products. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings per share inched up 0.2% to $10.18 for 2017 and 0.5% to $10.74 for 2018 over the last 60 days. This is clearly evident through the company’s bullish Zacks Rank #2. Notably, expected earnings growth for the current financial year is 4.7%.    
 
Shares of Reinsurance Group have increased 3.6% against the industry’s loss of 1.2% and substantially outperforming the S&P 500 index’s gain of 1.7%.



Radnor, PA-based Lincoln National Corporation LNC engages in multiple insurance and retirement businesses in the United States. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings per share nudged up 0.3% to $7.45 for 2017 and 0.1% to $7.66 for 2018 over the last 60 days. This is clearly understood by the company’s Zacks Rank of 2. Expected earnings growth for the current financial year is 14.6%.

Shares of Lincoln National have increased 6.6% against the industry’s loss of 1.2% and the figure is significantly ahead of the broader market’s gain of 1.7%.

Can Hackers Put Money INTO Your Portfolio?

Earlier this month, credit bureau Equifax announced a massive data breach affecting 2 out of every 3 Americans. The cybersecurity industry is expanding quickly in response to this and similar events. But some stocks are better investments than others.

Zacks has just released Cybersecurity! An Investor’s Guideto help Zacks.com readers make the most of the $170 billion per year investment opportunity created by hackers and other threats. It reveals 4 stocks worth looking into right away.

Download the new report now>>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Lincoln National Corporation (LNC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CNO Financial Group, Inc. (CNO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FBL Financial Group, Inc. (FFG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
The Navigators Group, Inc. (NAVG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research

  • Why Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Stock Closed 11% Lower on Friday
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Stock Closed 11% Lower on Friday

    Analyst Pierre Ferragu from financial firm New Street Research set his price target for AMD at $18 per share, arguing that the stock has been priced for a level of success that simply isn't realistic. "AMD's stock price reflects a scenario we don't believe possible," Ferragu wrote. In particular, Ferragu sees larger rival Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) getting its manufacturing act together as we speak.

  • 'You are messing with the wrong guy': The CEO of an American mining company eviscerates Goldman Sachs analyst and short sellers on earnings call (CLF)
    Business
    Business Insider

    'You are messing with the wrong guy': The CEO of an American mining company eviscerates Goldman Sachs analyst and short sellers on earnings call (CLF)

    Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves took time out of his company's third-quarter earnings call to attack a Goldman Sachs analyst and short sellers. It's not the first time Goncalves had a contentious moment with an analyst on an earnings call.

  • Tesla slides after Elon Musk announced lower-cost Model 3 (TSLA)
    Business
    Business Insider

    Tesla slides after Elon Musk announced lower-cost Model 3 (TSLA)

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter on Thursday that a lower-cost Model 3 was immediately available for order on the company's website. The electric car will have a base price of $45,000 and is eligible for federal and state tax rebates. Tesla shares were down more than 3% Friday after — they gained as much as 2.2% earlier in the session.

  • Now is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance to invest in US pot companies, investor says
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Now is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance to invest in US pot companies, investor says

    With some Canadian pot stocks posting triple-digit return rates this year, many retail investors have looked north to pour cash into cannabis. U.S. cannabis companies are worth a lot more than their current valuations suggest since federal illegality has put undue pressure on the industry, said David Wenger, a New York attorney and senior editor of the Cannabis Law Digest.

  • What happens if you win Mega Millions' $970M jackpot?
    News
    Associated Press

    What happens if you win Mega Millions' $970M jackpot?

    Despite the terrible odds — one in 302.5 million for those keeping score at home — someone will eventually match all six numbers and win the Mega Millions jackpot, which now stands at $970 million. Here are some answers for someone holding that prized lottery ticket for what would be the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. Lottery officials recommend winners take a deep breath, put their winning ticket in a safe spot and consult with a reputable financial planner before popping over to the lottery headquarters.

  • Why Valero Energy, eBay, and New Age Beverages Slumped Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Valero Energy, eBay, and New Age Beverages Slumped Today

    Some major market benchmarks managed to hang onto their gains, but the Nasdaq Composite, and Russell 2000 indexes posted losses of 0.5% to 1.25%, and the S&P 500 was virtually flat. Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO), eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), and New Age Beverages (NASDAQ: NBEV) were among the worst performers on the day. Valero Energy dropped 10% after the refinery company announced that it would buy back all outstanding units of its related MLP, Valero Energy Partners (NYSE: VLP).

  • Cramer's 5 favorite tech stocks right now, including Appl...
    MSFT
    CNBC Videos

    Cramer's 5 favorite tech stocks right now, including Appl...

    Jim Cramer reveals his top "power" players in the information technology space, including consumer tech plays, software giants and a fintech kicker.

  • America’s Biggest Employer Isn’t Hiring Seasonal Employees This Year. Here’s the Reason Why
    Business
    Money

    America’s Biggest Employer Isn’t Hiring Seasonal Employees This Year. Here’s the Reason Why

    For the third year, Walmart won’t be hiring tens of thousands of seasonal employees to provide extra support during the holidays. Instead, Walmart is forgoing the long-standing practice in favor of giving it’s full- and part-time employees more hours and opportunities to earn extra cash. The idea, Walmart says, is to fulfill the wishes of many of its employees.

  • Suddenly Toxic, Saudi Prince Is Shunned by Investors He Courted
    World
    Bloomberg

    Suddenly Toxic, Saudi Prince Is Shunned by Investors He Courted

    Now Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could become the biggest risk to his own project. Everything changed when Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and didn’t come out. Prince Mohammed, who’s denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, still has his defenders -– notably Donald Trump.

  • Why PBF Energy Inc and Other Refining Stocks Are Getting Clobbered Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why PBF Energy Inc and Other Refining Stocks Are Getting Clobbered Today

    Shares of PBF Energy Inc (NYSE: PBF) tumbled as much as 10.9% on Friday, joining a sectorwide sell-off that also saw refiners Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO), Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC), and HollyFontier (NYSE: HFC) take it on the chin by sinking more than 5% at one point in the day. A trio of factors seems to be driving these declines.

  • Business
    Benzinga

    Jim Cramer Shares His Thoughts On Amarin, AT&T, McDonald's And More

    On CNBC's "Mad Money Lightning Round", Jim Cramer said Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ARWR) is a great speculative stock. Cramer is willing to endorse AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), but he thinks Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) offers more safety

  • This Marijuana Investment Firm's 11 Top Cannabis Picks for Explosive Growth
    Business
    Motley Fool

    This Marijuana Investment Firm's 11 Top Cannabis Picks for Explosive Growth

    The marijuana industry has become a hotbed of investment activity, and players of all sizes are looking to get into the action. On top of all the interest from ordinary investors, cannabis companies have seen demand rise from sophisticated institutional investors that have experience with deploying larger amounts of investment capital in search of high-growth opportunities. One of the most interesting marijuana investment specialists that investors can follow is Canopy Rivers (NASDAQOTH: CNPOF).

  • Valero to fold logistics arm back into parent company in $950 million deal
    Finance
    American City Business Journals

    Valero to fold logistics arm back into parent company in $950 million deal

    Less than five years after it was created as a master limited partnership, San Antonio-based pipeline and storage terminal company Valero Energy Partners LP is merging back with its parent company.  Valero Energy Partners (NYSE: VLP) announced after close of market on Thursday that it is merging with Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO), its general partner Valero Energy Partners GP LLC and Forest Merger Sub LLC, a subsidiary that was incorporated in Delaware as a merge vehicle by Valero on Tuesday. Under a merger agreement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Valero will buy all outstanding shares of VLP stock at $42.25 per share in a transaction that is expected to be worth $950 million.

  • Cramer's lightning round: I think GoPro's stock could go ...
    Business
    CNBC Videos

    Cramer's lightning round: I think GoPro's stock could go ...

    Jim Cramer whips through his take on callers' favorite stocks, including a speculative play on tech devices.

  • Marijuana investors may lose 90% of their money in Canada, so consider the really big prize elsewhere
    News
    MarketWatch

    Marijuana investors may lose 90% of their money in Canada, so consider the really big prize elsewhere

    Marijuana presents a tremendous opportunity for investors over the next few years. Naïve investors are excited. The reality is that professionals will pick their pockets, and many naïve investors who are excited now will end up losing 90% of their investment.

  • Here’s why you shouldn’t retire super early — even if you can
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Here’s why you shouldn’t retire super early — even if you can

    Despite the many perks of early retirement — waking up whenever you want, for example — it wasn’t the easiest decision. Earnings tend to peak around 48 for men and about 39 for women, according to an analysis by PayScale.

  • Marathon Petroleum: Analyzing the Short Interest
    Finance
    Market Realist

    Marathon Petroleum: Analyzing the Short Interest

    Will Marathon Petroleum’s Q3 Earnings Beat the Estimates? (Continued from Prior Part) Short interest in Marathon Petroleum The short interest, represented as a percentage of outstanding shares, in Marathon Petroleum (MPC) has risen from 5.4% on July

  • The Mega Millions Jackpot Is Now $970 Million. Here's What That Could Buy
    Finance
    Fortune

    The Mega Millions Jackpot Is Now $970 Million. Here's What That Could Buy

    You know the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are insanely low. The jackpot for the Mega Millions drawing, set to take place Friday, Oct. 19 at 11 p.m., is currently estimated at $970 million. Generous souls will give some of their jackpot winnings to charity or start one of their own, but if you’ve got a quirky sense of humor, it’s worth pointing out that the $970 million Mega Millions jackpot is enough to pay for a McDonald’s Happy Meal (hamburger, not Chicken McNuggets) for every person in America.

  • General Motors Earnings: What to Watch
    Business
    Motley Fool

    General Motors Earnings: What to Watch

    General Motors (NYSE: GM) will report its third-quarter earnings results before the U.S. markets open on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Wall Street thinks that GM's revenue may improve year over year, but it may fall a bit short of that earnings number this time around. GM has just begun rolling out all-new versions of its big-selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.

  • 5 U.S. Marijuana Stocks to Buy Before the Market Lights Up
    Finance
    InvestorPlace

    5 U.S. Marijuana Stocks to Buy Before the Market Lights Up

    As such, the full range of recreational products offered by Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) and their peers can now be sold throughout Canada. One question for American investors is how that affects U.S. marijuana stocks? What happened in Canada changes little in the U.S. The federal ban on marijuana remains in place.

  • This Refining Giant Is the Latest Energy Company to Give Up on Its MLP
    Business
    Motley Fool

    This Refining Giant Is the Latest Energy Company to Give Up on Its MLP

    The energy sector continues to experience a gigantic consolidation wave, which is causing master limited partnerships (MLPs) to drop like flies. Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO) is behind the latest disappearing act in the space after it agreed to buy out its MLP Valero Energy Partners (NYSE: VLP). Valero Energy launched Valero Energy Partners in late 2013, joining its refining rivals in creating an income-producing vehicle that would steadily buy its parent's midstream assets.

  • Marijuana stocks to watch: Aurora Cannabis investments may be more valuable than its pot
    News
    MarketWatch

    Marijuana stocks to watch: Aurora Cannabis investments may be more valuable than its pot

    Aurora Cannabis Inc. is a major pot producer, but if its bets on other cannabis companies continue to pay off, it may be able to stop actually growing weed on its own. Aurora (ACBFF)(CA:ACB) said recently its investments were worth more than C$700 million ($540 million) as of Sept. 21, bolstered in part by demand for pot stocks ahead of full legalization of marijuana in Canada on Wednesday. As the entire sector has benefited, so has Aurora’s portfolio, boosting the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter profit to C$79.9 million, after a loss of $20.8 million the year earlier.

  • Here's Why Aphria Is the Next Marijuana Stock to List on the NYSE
    Finance
    Motley Fool

    Here's Why Aphria Is the Next Marijuana Stock to List on the NYSE

    Canada's third-largest marijuana company, Aphria Inc. (NASDAQOTH: APHQF), announced this week that it has filed to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Aphria's decision to up-list its shares from the over-the-counter market to the NYSE follows in the footsteps of Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC), which listed on the NYSE in May, and Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH: ACBFF), which is expected to begin trading on the NYSE on Oct. 23.

  • AMD's Q3 Earnings to Gain on Portfolio Strength & GPU Demand
    Business
    Zacks

    AMD's Q3 Earnings to Gain on Portfolio Strength & GPU Demand

    Advanced Micro Devices Inc AMD is set to report third-quarter 2018 results on Oct 24.Notably, AMD has a positive record of earnings surprises in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 30.97%. In the last reported quarter, earnings of 14

  • Why Is Ford Stock Tanking before Its Q3 2018 Earnings Event?
    Finance
    Market Realist

    Why Is Ford Stock Tanking before Its Q3 2018 Earnings Event?

    Why Analysts Are Pessimistic about Ford’s Q3 2018 Earnings  Ford’s Q3 2018 earnings Ford Motor Company (F), the second-largest US automaker by 2017 vehicle sales volume, is set to release its third quarter of 2018 earnings report on October 24. But before