Zacks
0
All posts from Zacks
Zacks in Our Research. Your Success.,

Insurers' Earnings to Watch Early Next Week: AFL, CINF, TMK

The first-quarter earnings season is well underway, with 71 companies of the S&P 500 having reported already, as per our Earnings Trends report. Though these managed 0.6% revenue growth, total earnings of these S&P 500 members are down 9% year over year. However, the beat ratio is 80.3% for the bottom line and 54.9% for the top line.

About 21.6% of the companies in the Finance sector have already reported their results. Total earnings have declined 17.65% on 6.6% lower revenues. The beat ratio also compares unfavorably with the S&P 500 index.

The insurance industry is part of the broader finance sector. Let’s see how the first quarter has turned up for the insurers so far. Insurers will have to digest the catastrophe losses stemming from the hail storm in north Texas in March that are weighing on underwriting results and the bottom line. However, these are unlikely to drain out insurers’ capital.

A still soft interest rate environment will keep investment results under pressure. However, the slight rate rise by the Fed was a silver lining for life insurers which suffered spread compression on products like fixed annuities and universal life due to sustained low rates.  

With more than 175 index members releasing results from Apr 25–29, let’s find out what’s in store for three major insurance companies that will report early next week.

Torchmark Corp. TMK provides annuities, whole and term life insurance, accidental death insurance, health insurance, Medicare supplements, and long-term healthcare policies. The company delivered a 0.94% negative surprise last quarter. Torchmark has an http://www.zacks.com/earnings/earnings-surprise-predictions/">Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at $1.07.

Torchmark is expected to witness solid performance at its American Income Exclusive Agency and strong Life sales on an impressive agent count. The Global Life segment will likely benefit from operating in a noncompetitive market. However, administrative expenses can taper margins and excess investment income may be affected by the Part D plans that is now included in discontinued operations. (Read more: Torchmark Q1 Earnings Beat Unlikely: Stock at Risk?)

With respect to the surprise trend, Torchmark surpassed expectations in only one of the last four quarters, with an average beat of -0.23%.

Aflac Inc, AFL is one of the leading providers of supplemental health and life insurance in the U.S. and Japan. The company delivered a 5.14% positive surprise in the last quarter. For the first quarter of 2016, Aflac has an Earnings ESP of 1.25%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at $1.60.

Aflac is expected to benefit from a strong franchise in Japan and the U.S. supplemental health markets. Share buybacks should drive the bottom line. The company’s One Day Pay which is giving it a competitive edge is likely to have a positive impact on earnings. However, adverse foreign exchange translation and a still soft interest rate environment might weigh on results. (Read more: Aflac Likely to Top Q1 Earnings: Will the Stock Gain?)

With respect to the surprise trend, Aflac surpassed expectations in two of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 2.21%.

Cincinnati Financial Corporation CINF markets property and casualty insurance. The company, which has an agent-centered business model, is among the top 25 property and casualty insurers in the U.S. Cincinnati Financial delivered a 20.88% positive surprise in the last quarter. Cincinnati Financial has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 77 cents.

Cincinnati Financial is likely to benefit from growth initiatives, a gradual increase in insurance rates as well as modest improvement in pricing. Also, new agencies appointed along with the older ones should boost its performance. However, the turmoil in group benefits related to the Affordable Care Act and still soft interest rates may weigh on the bottom line. (Read more: Cincinnati Financial Q1 Earnings: A Surprise in Store?)

With respect to the surprise trend, Cincinnati Financial surpassed expectations in three of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 44.2%.

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

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. http://www.zacks.com/registration/pfp/?ALERT=RPT_7BST_LP194&... blog">Click to get this free report >>


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
 
AFLAC INC (AFL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TORCHMARK CORP (TMK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CINCINNATI FINL (CINF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research