Top Insurance Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Shares of Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) are rising today, but not Wells Fargo (WFC) despite beating earnings forecasts this morning. Why? Evercore ISI’s John Pancari and team single out Wells Fargo’s exposure to energy:

Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg News

Wells Fargo reported 1Q16 EPS of $0.99. Ex gain on sale of Wells Fargo’s crop insurance biz (+$0.05), hedge ineffectiveness gain (+$0.05), and sec gains (+$0.03), we peg core EPS at $0.86 vs our estimate of $0.93 and cons $0.97. Miss from our est was due higher expenses (-$0.05), higher loan-loss provisions (-$0.02), lower net-interest income (-$0.02), and higher tax rate (-$0.01), partly offset by higher than expected fees (+$0.03). Overall, a weak qtr marked by a sizable energy loan-loss-reserve build and higher expenses.

Top Insurance Stocks To Invest In Right Now: American International Group Inc.(AIG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    BMO’s Charles Sebaski explains why he upgraded American International Group (AIG) to Outperform from market Perform:

    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    AIG has been trading at discount to its tangible book given its mid-single digit return profile; however, we expect AIGs valuation to keep increasing with its improving return profile. We are now forecasting AIG to generate a 9.9% operating return on tangible common equity (ROtE) in 2018, which would be a 450 bp improvement from 2016. A double-digit return profile warrants the 1x multiple that we are applying to its tangible book value per share. While we expect AIGs return profile to benefit from lower taxes, we also expect the companys life and retirement business to improve from the rising interest rates as those spread businesses are more interest rate sensitive than the P&C business. That said, we expect continued improvement on both the loss and expense sides of the P&C as contributing factors to the ROtE improve.

    BMO also upgraded Arch Capital Group (ACGL), Brown & Brown (BRO), and Travelers (TRV).

    Shares of American International Group have declined 0.4% to $65.60 at 3:36 p.m. today, whileArch Capital Group has gained 2% to $87.90,Brown & Brown has advanced 0.5% to $44.65, andTravelers has risen 1.3% to $120.79.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Heading into its earnings following the close of trading yesterday, shares of American International Group (AIG) had gained 34% from its low on Jun. 28 to Feb. 14. Then the bottom fell out.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    American International Group (AIG) tumbled to the bottom of the S&P 500 today after its earnings fell well short of the Street consensus.

    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    AIG dropped 8.9% to $60.85 today, while the S&P 500 gained 0.5% to 2,349.25.

    Yes, AIG’s earnings were bad. It reported an operating loss of $2.72 a share, missing forecasts for a profit of 42 cents, according to Bloomberg. And it didn’t help that John Paulson’s Paulson & Co. cut its stake in the insurer.

    You’ll notice the forecast is different than what it was in my earlier post on AIG–and an AIG spokesperson even reached out to tell me that the consensus, at least according to FactSet, should had been for a loss of 61 cents a share. Why the confusion? RBC’s Mark Dwelle and Scott Heleniak have your answer:

    In reporting results AIG has recast all of its business segments, transferring various pieces to a Legacy unit, reallocating corporate expenses and net investment income as well as making some changes as to what is included within operating income, the most notable of which is that loss reserve discount effects in U.S. Commercial Insurance (and the Legacy unit) are now excluded from Operating Income. Accordingly, comparisons to prior reported results, and to some extent our 4Q16 estimates, require some reconciliation.

    Macquarie’sAmit Kumar considers the bull and bear cases on AIG:

    On 2/14, after market close, AIG reported a Q4 operating loss of $2.72 per share vs. our estimate of a $0.52 loss and street consensus of a $0.54 loss. Results are not directly comparable to street consensus due to lack of unanimity in terms of reserve adjustment estimates. Results included a higher than estimated $5.6 billion or $3.56/share of adverse development. The company had previously announced the possibility of a material reserve charge in the quarter. The bulls on the stock would note that this quar

Top Insurance Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Principal Financial Group Inc(PFG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The twenty stocks in Worth’s basket are: Ameriprise Financial (AMP) Bank of America, Banner (BANR), Citigroup, Citizens Financial Group (CFG), East West Bancorp (EWBC), First NBC Bank Holding (FNBC), HFF (HF), KeyCorp(KEY), Legacy Texas Financial Group (LTXB), Lincoln National (LNC), Morgan Stanley, Old National Bancorp (ONB), PacWest Bancorp (PACW), PNC Financial Services Group (PNC), Principal Financial Group (PFG), Stifel Financial (SF), SVB Financial Group (SIVB), TCF Financial (TCB), and Wells Fargo.

Top Insurance Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Prudential Financial Inc.(PRU)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Cramer was bearish on Prudential (PRU) , Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASX) and ZTO Express (ZTO) .

    Read more of Cramer’s comments about the stocks in the Lightning Round.

  • [By WWW.MONEYSHOW.COM]

    Prudential Financial (PRU) is also a major provider of asset management and retirement services. It focuses is on fixed income, a major liability during the past eight years of ultra-low interest rates.

  • [By Chuck Saletta]

    Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) has long had the Rock of Gibraltar as its corporate symbol, representing its solid financial position. With more cash and equivalents than debt on its balance sheet, and a total cash hoard of over $49 billion, Prudential still looks set up to handle some downright awful insurable losses. That’s its “Rock of Gibraltar” strength showing through.

Top Insurance Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Aon Corporation(AON)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    We’re seeing the exact same price pattern playing out in shares of $29 billion risk and insurance consultancy firm Aon plc (AON) . Aon has been a strong performer for all of 2016, up 20% since the calendar flipped to January. But don’t worry if you’ve missed the move – an ascending triangle pattern is signaling a second leg higher here. For Aon, the breakout level to watch is resistance up at $113.

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