Assurant Receives “Neutral” Rating from Zacks (AIZ)
Assurant (NYSE:AIZ)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating reiterated by Zacks in a research note issued on Friday, Analyst Ratings Network.com reports. They currently have a $67.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks‘ price objective points to a potential upside of 4.69% from the stock’s previous close.
Zacks‘ analyst wrote, “Assurant Inc.’s fourth-quarter 2013 earnings of $1.42 came in a penny ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Earnings zoomed up 20 times year over year owing to no reportable catastrophe losses during the quarter. A lower share count, due to share repurchases, also boosted the bottom-line results. The company has shown a strong performance in 2013 and we expect it to continue to perform favorably going forward given its strong franchise, consistent cash flow generation, moderate debt ratio and favorably performing solutions business. However, weakness in employee benefits and challenges in the health insurance business are significant headwinds. Specialty property earnings is also expected to decline due to regulatory-mandated price cuts and lower placement rates. Nevertheless, a disciplined capital management strategy by way of regular share repurchases will aid bottom-line growth. We thus maintain our Neutral recommendation on the shares.”
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised their price target on shares of Assurant from $58.00 to $63.00 in a research note to investors on Monday, December 16th. Analysts at Ned Davis Research upgraded shares of Assurant from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note to investors on Monday, December 16th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.25.
Shares of Assurant (NYSE:AIZ) traded up 0.94% on Friday, hitting $64.60. 658,183 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Assurant has a 52 week low of $38.09 and a 52 week high of $68.95. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $66.08 and its 200-day moving average is $59.6. The company has a market cap of $4.697 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.53.
Assurant (NYSE:AIZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 4th. The company reported $1.46 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $2.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.22 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.31 earnings per share. Assurant’s revenue was up 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Assurant will post $6.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Monday, March 10th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 24th will be paid a dividend of 0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.56%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 20th.
Assurant, Inc (NYSE:AIZ) is a provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and select worldwide markets.
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