All posts from Zacks
Zacks in Our Research. Your Success.,

Cincinnati Financial Projects Q1 Catastrophe Loss of $106M

Cincinnati Financial Corporation CINF recently announced pre-tax catastrophe loss estimates for the first quarter of 2017. The company projects pre-tax catastrophe loss of about $106 million. The losses primarily stemmed from storms in Midwest and the South during Feb 28 and Mar 22.

While the impact of a little more than half of the catastrophe loss is to be borne by commercial lines insurance, the rest has to be covered by personal lines insurance.

Cincinnati Financial’s business is mostly concentrated in the Midwest region, which is prone to catastrophes. As such, the company’s operations incur substantial catastrophe losses, which make its earnings volatile. In a bid to mitigate the losses incurred, the company replaced its existing catastrophe bond program with a new collateralized reinsurance structure that covers $200 million of earthquake and $80 million of severe convective storm damages.

The insurer believes that the catastrophe loss will deteriorate combined ratio by 920 basis points (bps). This is much higher than 490 bps impact of cat loss during first quarter in a decade. As a property and casualty (P&C) insurer, Cincinnati Financial is exposed to losses from natural disasters. This, in turn, affects its underwriting results. Cincinnati Financial estimates combined ratio between 99% and 101% in the first quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Cincinnati Financial’s first-quarter earnings is currently pegged at 78 cents, which translates to a year-over-year decrease of 12.4%. We expect the estimates to move downward as analysts incorporate the impact of the catastrophe loss.

Cincinnati Financial is scheduled to release first-quarter results on Apr 26. Our proven model shows that the company is likely to beat on earnings because it has a favorable combination of a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and an Earnings ESP of +7.69%. The insurer has a track record of positive surprises for seven straight quarters.

Cincinnati Financial declared that results of its P&C current accident year as well excess & surplus lines insurance segment and Cincinnati Re has been impressive. For the first quarter, the company expects investment income to increase 3%, P&C net written premiums to improve 7% with Cincinnati Re to contribute 200 bps.

Shares of Cincinnati Financial lost about 6.8% year to date, underperforming the Zacks categorized Property, Casualty and Title Insurance industry’s increase of 1.18%. However, estimates has been moving north ahead of the earnings release. We wait to see how the shares perform when the company reports its results.

Other Stocks that Warrant a Look

Investors interested in the P&C industry can also consider The Allstate Corporation ALL, Everest Re Group Ltd. RE, and The Progressive Corporation PGR. Rank of these stocks? You can see _1link">the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Allstate, the second-largest P&C insurer and the largest publicly held personal lines carrier in the U.S., delivered positive surprises in the last four quarters with an average beat of 16.34%

Everest Re, a writer of P&C, reinsurance and insurance in the U.S, Bermuda and international markets, delivered positive surprises in three of the last four quarters with an average beat of 43.49%.

Progressive Corporation, one of the major auto insurers in the U.S., delivered positive surprises in two of the last four quarters with an average beat of nearly 5%.

Will You Make a Fortune on the Shift to Electric Cars?

Here's another stock idea to consider. Much like petroleum 150 years ago, lithium power may soon shake the world, creating millionaires and reshaping geo-politics. Soon electric vehicles (EVs) may be cheaper than gas guzzlers. Some are already reaching 265 miles on a single charge.

With battery prices plummeting and charging stations set to multiply, one company stands out as the #1 stock to buy according to Zacks research.

It's not the one you think.

See This Ticker Free >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CINF): Free Stock Analysis Report
Allstate Corporation (The) (ALL): Free Stock Analysis Report
Everest Re Group, Ltd. (RE): Free Stock Analysis Report
Progressive Corporation (The) (PGR): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on click here.