Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) Upgraded to Strong-Buy by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Monday, March 12th. They currently have $302.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Everest Re has substantially benefited from its global presence, product diversification, capital adequacy, financial flexibility and traditional risk management capabilities. Strategic endeavors to ramp up growth pave way for long-term improvement. It is divesting underperforming business and strengthening reserves. Banking on favorable operational performance, the company enjoys disciplined capital management strategy. A competitive reinsurance market and exposure to catastrophe events infusing underwriting volatility remain headwinds. Shares of Everest Re have underperformed the industry in a year’s time. With respect to quarterly results, Everest Re’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved year over year on strong segmental performance and higher revenues.”

Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. TheStreet lowered shares of Everest Re Group from a b rating to a c+ rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. Wells Fargo reissued a market perform rating and set a $235.00 price objective (down previously from $240.00) on shares of Everest Re Group in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Morgan Stanley reissued an equal weight rating and set a $258.00 price objective (up previously from $247.00) on shares of Everest Re Group in a report on Thursday, March 1st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a hold rating and set a $234.00 price objective on shares of Everest Re Group in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. Finally, Barclays restated a buy rating and set a $290.00 target price (up from $279.00) on shares of Everest Re Group in a research report on Sunday, February 18th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Everest Re Group currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $260.75.

Everest Re Group stock traded down $2.14 on Monday, hitting $254.25. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 249,335 shares, compared to its average volume of 358,081. The firm has a market capitalization of $10,547.69, a PE ratio of 27.94, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 0.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08, a current ratio of 0.33 and a quick ratio of 0.33. Everest Re Group has a one year low of $208.81 and a one year high of $277.17.

Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) last posted its earnings results on Monday, February 5th. The insurance provider reported $13.48 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $6.04 by $7.44. Everest Re Group had a net margin of 7.10% and a return on equity of 4.51%. The business had revenue of $1.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.52 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $9.08 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 15.7% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Everest Re Group will post 22.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 21st. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 7th were given a $1.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, March 6th. This represents a $5.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.05%. Everest Re Group’s dividend payout ratio is 57.14%.

In related news, Director Roger M. Singer sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $244.58, for a total transaction of $244,580.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director John A. Graf purchased 2,285 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 8th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $219.07 per share, with a total value of $500,574.95. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 5,550 shares in the company, valued at $1,215,838.50. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Focused Wealth Management Inc bought a new position in shares of Everest Re Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $111,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Everest Re Group in the third quarter valued at $137,000. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new position in shares of Everest Re Group in the fourth quarter valued at $133,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new position in shares of Everest Re Group in the fourth quarter valued at $144,000. Finally, Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Everest Re Group by 87.5% in the fourth quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 750 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $166,000 after buying an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. 92.55% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Everest Re Group

Everest Re Group, Ltd., through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the underwriting of reinsurance and insurance in the United States, Bermuda and international markets. The Company operates in segments: U.S. Reinsurance, International, Bermuda and Insurance segment. The Company underwrites reinsurance both through brokers and directly with ceding companies.

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Analyst Recommendations for Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE)

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