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Multi Line Insurers' Earnings to Watch This Week: AIZ, HIG

The first-quarter earnings season is moving full steam ahead with more than 71 companies in the S&P universe having reported already, as per our Earnings Trends. Total earnings declined 9% year over year with only 0.6% increase in revenues. Nonetheless, the beat ratio is 80.3% for the bottom line and 54.9% for the top line.

Coming to the Finance sector, about 21.6% of the companies have already reported their results. Both the top and the bottom lines have mostly failed to live up to expectations. Also, total earnings have declined 17.65% on 6.6% lower revenues.

The insurance industry is part of the broader Finance sector. Let’s see what factors might influence its results this earnings season.

While a not-so-active catastrophe environment will help underwriting results, expense management should aid margin expansion. Portfolio restructuring to focus on core business and geographic expansion should help the companies to come up with better numbers.

On the other hand, a still soft interest environment should keep investment results under pressure. However, spread compression on products like fixed annuities and universal life should improve.

While expansion of the Affordable Care Act is expected to benefit companies that are heavily skewed toward providing health benefits, an improving housing market is expected to have favored mortgage insurers.

With more than 175 index members releasing results from Apr 25–29, let’s find out what’s in store for these major multiline insurers that will report first-quarter earnings results this week.

Assurant Inc. AIZ is a premier provider of specialized insurance products in North America and other selected markets overseas. The company delivered a 37.01% negative surprise last quarter. Assurant has an http://www.zacks.com/earnings/earnings-surprise-predictions/">Earnings ESP of -7.69% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at $1.30.

Assurant’s mobile business is expected to see solid results again. The company will stand to benefit from its geographic exposure. Also, costs management should aid margin expansion and bottom-line growth. However, the ongoing normalization of lender-placed insurance business can hurt the performance of the Assurant Specialty Property segment. (Read more: Assurant Q1 Earnings May Disappoint: Stock to Suffer?)

With respect to the surprise trend, Assurant surpassed expectations in three of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 1.64%.

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. HIG is one of the major multi-line insurance and investment companies in the country, providing investment products, group life and group disability insurance, property and casualty insurance and mutual funds. The company delivered a 9.18% positive surprise in the last quarter. For the first quarter of 2016, The Hartford has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at $1.03.

New sales activity, solid retention, cost management and strong underwriting results are likely to benefit the company in the first quarter. However, pricing and competition can restrict the desired upside. (Read more: The Hartford Q1 Earnings: Surprise in Store for Stock?)

With respect to the surprise trend, The Hartford surpassed expectations in three of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 5.21%.

Keep an eye on our full earnings articles to see how these S&P 500 members finally fared.

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ASSURANT INC (AIZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HARTFORD FIN SV (HIG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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