Todays Report: The Everest Re Group Ltd. (RE) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

The Everest Re Group Ltd. (RE) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Everest Re Group Ltd. (NYSE:RE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Everest Re’s is well positioned in the insurance and reinsurance industries. The insurer has substantially benefited from its global presence, product diversification, capital adequacy, financial flexibility and traditional risk management capabilities. Banking on favorable operational performance the company enjoys disciplined capital management strategy and strong capital balance position, enabling it to engage in shareholders friendly moves. Notably, the company divested its Heartland, the crop MGA and entered into an long-term reinsurance relationship with CGB Diversified Services. The divesture thus seems a strategic step by the company to brace its growth profile.  Riding on the positives, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has been witnessing upward revision over the last 60 days. However, a competitive reinsurance market, exposure to catastrophe events infusing underwriting volatility and a low interest rate environment remain headwinds.”

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on RE. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upped their price target on shares of Everest Re Group from $199.00 to $204.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $215.00 price target on shares of Everest Re Group in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $202.40.

Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) traded down 1.87% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $186.56. The stock had a trading volume of 180,946 shares. The stock has a market cap of $7.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.42 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $190.94 and a 200 day moving average price of $186.48. Everest Re Group has a one year low of $167.07 and a one year high of $199.98.

Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 25th. The company reported $3.17 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.85 by $0.32. Everest Re Group had a net margin of 13.79% and a return on equity of 11.78%. The firm earned $1.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.30 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $5.03 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Everest Re Group will post $16.47 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 21st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 7th were given a $1.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 2nd. This represents a $4.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.42%. Everest Re Group’s payout ratio is currently 25.66%.

In other news, Director John R. Dunne sold 200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.03, for a total value of $38,006.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 10,579 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,010,327.37. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP John P. Doucette sold 1,840 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $189.84, for a total transaction of $349,305.60. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 23,265 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,416,627.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of RE. Global X Management Co. LLC raised its stake in shares of Everest Re Group by 177.7% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 561 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 359 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Everest Re Group by 5.6% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 568 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the period. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC raised its stake in shares of Everest Re Group by 3.5% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 619 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the period. Hussman Strategic Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Everest Re Group during the second quarter worth about $128,000. Finally, MU Investments Co. Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Everest Re Group during the second quarter worth about $165,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.98% of the company’s stock.

Everest Re Group Company Profile

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’s segments include U.S. Reinsurance segment, International segment, Bermuda segment, Insurance segment and Mt. Logan Re segment.

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