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Is American Financial Group (AFG) Stock Outpacing Its Finance Peers This Year?

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Investors interested in Finance stocks should always be looking to find the best-performing companies in the group. American Financial Group (AFG) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Finance sector should help us answer this question.

American Financial Group is one of 894 individual stocks in the Finance sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #5 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different groups, measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the sector to gauge the strength of each group.

The Zacks Rank is a proven system that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions, highlighting a variety of stocks that are displaying the right characteristics to beat the market over the next one to three months. American Financial Group is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AFG's full-year earnings has moved 13.7% higher within the past quarter. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

Based on the most recent data, AFG has returned 5% so far this year. In comparison, Finance companies have returned an average of -13.4%. This shows that American Financial Group is outperforming its peers so far this year.

BCB Bancorp (BCBP) is another Finance stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has returned 21.7%.

The consensus estimate for BCB Bancorp's current year EPS has increased 12.8% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

To break things down more, American Financial Group belongs to the Insurance - Property and Casualty industry, a group that includes 40 individual companies and currently sits at #73 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has gained an average of 4% so far this year, so AFG is performing better in this area.

On the other hand, BCB Bancorp belongs to the Banks - Northeast industry. This 88-stock industry is currently ranked #23. The industry has moved -12.7% year to date.

Going forward, investors interested in Finance stocks should continue to pay close attention to American Financial Group and BCB Bancorp as they could maintain their solid performance.


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