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NMI Holdings (NMIH) Hits Fresh High: Is There Still Room to Run?

Zacks Equity Research
First Financial (FFBC) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 0.00% and 2.35%, respectively, for the quarter ended June 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

Have you been paying attention to shares of NMI Holdings (NMIH)? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 16.9% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $31.34 in the previous session. NMI Holdings has gained 69.7% since the start of the year compared to the 10.4% move for the Zacks Finance sector and the 5.5% return for the Zacks Insurance - Property and Casualty industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has a great record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on May 1, 2019, NMI Holdings reported EPS of $0.56 versus consensus estimate of $0.52 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 3.61%.

For the current fiscal year, NMI Holdings is expected to post earnings of $2.31 per share on $354.39 million in revenues. This represents a 39.16% change in EPS on a 28.86% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $2.88 per share on $434.69 million in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 24.89% and 22.66%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

NMI Holdings may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company has run ahead of itself.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as they provide investors with an additional way to sort through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

NMI Holdings has a Value Score of D. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are A and B, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 13.1X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 15.9X versus its peer group's average of 14.3X. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to look at the Zacks Rank for the stock, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, NMI Holdings currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if NMI Holdings fits the bill. Thus, it seems as though NMI Holdings shares could have a bit more room to run in the near term.

How Does NMI Holdings Stack Up to the Competition?

Shares of NMI Holdings have been soaring, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? Some of its industry peers are also looking good, including American Financial Group (AFG), RenaissanceRe Holdings (RNR), and Everest Re Group (RE), all of which currently have a Zacks Rank of at least #2 and a VGM Score of at least B, making them well-rounded choices.

The Zacks Industry Rank is in the top 17% of all the industries we have in our universe, so it looks like there are some nice tailwinds for NMI Holdings, even beyond its own solid fundamental situation.


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