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XL Group (XL) & Subsidiaries Rated by A.M. Best

XL Group Ltd XL and its units recently received rating action from credit rating giant, A.M. Best. The rating agency has affirmed the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” and the existing Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) of XL.

At the same time, the rating giant affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term ICR of “bbb+” of the life insurer’s affiliates.

XL Group’s rating affirmation reflects its strong risk-adjusted capitalization, robust liquidity position and solid global business profile in insurance and reinsurance. This apart, the ratings indicate the life insurer’s balanced cycle management and flattering trend of operating earnings. In addition, the ratings also acknowledge the company’s expectations to achieve strong underwriting results.

Moreover, the life insurer has been benefited from some of its prior buyouts. The Catlin Group Ltd. acquisition in 2015 led to wider product offerings in the market. Such positives are also represented by the aforementioned ratings affirmation.

However, factors like exposure to severity events and puny underwriting results can offset the rating affirmation. Negative operating performance trends accompanied by a decline in risk adjusted capital may lead to the downside.

On the other hand, modest debt and leverage, hefty operating results accompanied by sturdy risk-adjusted capitalization might lead to the positive ratings affirmation.

Rating affirmations or upgrades from credit rating agencies play an important role in retaining investor confidence as well as in maintaining credit worthiness of a stock. On the other hand, rating downgrades not only damage business but also increase the cost of future debt issuances. We believe that such ratings will help XL Group retain investor confidence and write more businesses going forward.

Zacks Rank and Share Price Movement

Currently, XL Group carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of XL have returned 19.19% year to date, significantly outperforming the industry’s gain of 7.86%. However, we expect XL Group’s rise in gross premiums written and underwriting profit to help the stock to turn around in the near term.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the insurance industry include First American Corporation FAF, Markel Corporation MKL and Mercury General Corporation MCY. Each of these stocks holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see _1link">the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

First American Corporation along with its subsidiaries provides property and casualty insurance to homeowners and renters in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and South Korea. The company delivered positive surprises in each of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 12.64%.   

Markel Corporation underwrites and sells reinsurance and insurance products, to small and medium-sized firms in the United Kingdom. The company delivered a positive surprise in two of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 21.06%.

Mercury General Corporation provides personal automobile insurance services in the Unites States. The company delivered positive surprises in three of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 1.06%.  

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XL Group Ltd. (XL): Free Stock Analysis Report
First American Corporation (The) (FAF): Free Stock Analysis Report
Markel Corporation (MKL): Free Stock Analysis Report
Mercury General Corporation (MCY): Free Stock Analysis Report
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