Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Reinsurance Group of America, Arthur J. Gallagher, Aon, Brown & Brown and Marsh & McLennan

CHICAGO, Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Reinsurance Group of America Inc. (NYSE:RGA-Free Report), Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG-Free Report), Aon plc (NYSE:AON-Free Report), Brown & Brown Inc. (NYSE:BRO-Free Report) and Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (NYSE:MMC-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Reinsurance Group (RGA) Poised for Growth

We issued an updated research report on Reinsurance Group of America Inc. (NYSE:RGA-Free Report) on Aug 13. The life reinsurer reported second-quarter 2014 operating income of $2.23 per share, significantly ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.06. In the year-ago quarter, the company had posted an operating loss of 99 cents per share.  The quarter's results were driven by strong international earnings, both from Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific along with continued momentum in Global Financial Solutions.  

Total revenue of $2.83 billion increased 9.4% year over year but was slightly below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.86 billion.

The company is a leader in the U.S. Latin America Traditional market. The company has a successful product line expansion with market leading services, capabilities, expertise and innovation. In spite of a difficult insurance market, the company has grown net premium at a CAGR of 8.2% from 2009 to 2013.

In Canada , the company is market leader with solid growth and profitability. The company has a sizable in-force business, which would be a significant source of future earnings. Any new business is expected to add value.

In Asia, the company has a significant presence in Hong Kong , Japan , India , Korea and Taiwan . The company believes that economic growth and demographic trends leading to rapid growth in insurance market, protection and living benefits present abundant growth opportunities in this region.

However, the company ' s Australia business has been underperforming for quite some time, due to intensely competitive direct and reinsurance markets, complex product designs and weakening claims experience.

Moreover, evolving capital requirements from Solvency II regulations, continuing low interest rates and a significant exposure to foreign exchange can impart earnings volatility.

Nevertheless, the company ' s intelligent use of capital by way of regular share buyback and dividend payments  have created value for shareholders.

The company has also witnessed an increase in earnings estimates. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 has gone up 4% to $8.09 and the same for 2015 is up 1.4% to $8.69.

Reinsurance Group of America carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Arthur J. Gallagher on a Binge with 4 August Buyouts

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG-Free Report) continues with its acquisitions. The insurance broker has announced four acquisitions to date in August.

Acquisitions include certain assets of eastern Caribbean based Minvielle & Chastanet Insurance Brokers (widening presence into Antigua and Dominica), Connecticut based Cowles & Connell (enhancing wholesale geographic footprint and network), Missouri based Trip Mate, Inc. (helping foray into travel insurance market), and Colorado based Denman Consulting Services (augmenting employee benefits operations).

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. remains focused on international expansion through both acquisitions and organic measures. The company's international operations, primarily in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, Singapore, New Zealand and the U.K., generated about 30% of its revenues. With this flurry of acquisitions, the number is expected to grow further.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.'s growth story looks impressive. While the buyouts widen its geographical footprint, these also support the enhanced portfolio of services, and strengthen its position in retail and wholesale insurance brokerage services and risk management industries.

In the second quarter of 2014, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. closed 17 acquisitions with annualized revenues totaling $497.1 million. In the ongoing quarter, the insurance broker wrapped up seven acquisitions including the above four and penned a deal for one more.

 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. expects its clean energy investments to contribute $99–$110 million to this year's net earnings that should in turn support its acquisition strategy. In addition, the company's cash balance – up 3.3 times from 2013 end – and retained earnings of $596.9 million (up 8.7% from 2013 end) bear testimony to its financial health.

Though earnings of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in the second quarter missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and deteriorated from the year-ago earnings due to higher expenses, it has been witnessing upward revisions on strong fundamentals. The Zacks Consensus Estimate moved up as most of the estimates were raised in the last 30 days. It is currently pegged at $2.51 (up 2%) for 2014 and $2.93 (up 1.7%) for 2015. These translate to year-over-year improvement of 24.9% and 16.7% for 2014 and 2015, respectively. The expected long-term earnings growth rate is 14.6%.

With optimism surrounding the acquisitions, we expect analysts to raise their estimates exerting upward pressure on the Zacks Rank. The stock presently carries Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

As insurance brokers choose the inorganic route for growth, the takeover saga rages the space. This month, Aon plc's (NYSE:AON-Free Report) global risk management business, Aon Risk Solutions acquired a Lima-Peru based risk and insurance solutions provider, Grana y Asociados. In June, Brown & Brown Inc. (NYSE:BRO-Free Report) acquired select assets of Gaston & Associates. Also, Marsh Inc., the insurance brokerage wing of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (NYSE:MMC-Free Report) announced its intention to acquire a major stake in Panama-based Seguros Morrice y Urrutia SA (Semusa) in June.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.

Get the full Report on RGA - FREE

Get the full Report on AJG - FREE

Get the full Report on AON - FREE

Get the full Report on BRO - FREE

Get the full Report on MMC - FREE

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

[email protected]

http://www.zacks.com

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of ...
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes ab...
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
U.S. companies are desperately trying to recruit and hire skilled software engineers and developers, but there is simply not enough quality talent to go around. Tiempo Development is a nearshore software development company. Our headquarters are in AZ, but we are a pioneer and leader in outsourcing to Mexico, based on our three software development centers there. We have a proven process and we are experts at providing our customers with powerful solutions. We transform ideas into reality.
In their Live Hack” presentation at 17th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty and Paul Fletcher, Chief Security Evangelists at Alert Logic, will provide the audience with a chance to see a live demonstration of the common tools cyber attackers use to attack cloud and traditional IT systems. This “Live Hack” uses open source attack tools that are free and available for download by anybody. Attendees will learn where to find and how to operate these tools for the purpose of testing their own IT infrastructu...
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of I...
Organizations from small to large are increasingly adopting cloud solutions to deliver essential business services at a much lower cost. According to cyber security experts, the frequency and severity of cyber-attacks are on the rise, causing alarm to businesses and customers across a variety of industries. To defend against exploits like these, a company must adopt a comprehensive security defense strategy that is designed for their business. In 2015, organizations such as United Airlines, Sony...
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and a...
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
Everyone talks about continuous integration and continuous delivery but those are just two ends of the pipeline. In the middle of DevOps is continuous testing (CT), and many organizations are struggling to implement continuous testing effectively. After all, without continuous testing there is no delivery. And Lab-As-A-Service (LaaS) enhances the CT with dynamic on-demand self-serve test topologies. CT together with LAAS make a powerful combination that perfectly serves complex software developm...