A History of Outperforming Analyst Forecasts and Beating the Odds: Assurant Inc. (AIZ)

Assurant Inc. (NYSE: AIZ) stock fell -10.18% on Friday to $154.10 against a previous-day closing price of $171.57. With 1.09 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 0.48 million shares. During the session, the Insurance – Specialty company that operates in wider Financial sector, reached to the highest price of $168.82 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $153.78. The 52-week range on AIZ shows that it touched its highest point at $194.12 and its lowest point at $144.18 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $206.33. With its current market cap of 8.16 billion, AIZ has annualized dividend of $2.72 while the current yield stands at 1.77%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.53.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of AIZ was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -10.48%, but this was down by -10.70% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -15.83% while six-month performance rose 1.88%. The stock lost -2.49% in the past year, while it has lost -1.13% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for AIZ yields 10.37 with Next year EPS estimates of 14.53. For the next quarter, that number is 3.16. This implies an EPS growth rate of 27.70% for this year and 13.58% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 17.30% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 2.10%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 55.78 million AIZ shares are outstanding with a float of 49.96 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 0.73 million, which was 1.35% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Keith Warner Demmings as the firm’s Pres, CEO & Director, Mr. Richard Steven Dziadzio serves as its Exec. VP & CFO.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 105.06% of AIZ’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 60.82% of AIZ, in contrast to 35.98% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 26.44%. As the largest shareholder in AIZ with 12.08% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 6,535,881 shares worth 6,535,881. A second-largest stockholder of AIZ, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., holds 6,228,482 shares, controlling over 11.52% of the firm’s shares. Fidelity Management & Research Co is the third largest shareholder in AIZ, holding 3,315,651 shares or 6.13% stake. With a 3.69% stake in AIZ, the T Rowe Price Mid Cap Growth Fund is the largest stakeholder. A total of 1,994,400 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, which owns about 2.95% of AIZ stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 1,592,685 shares valued at 275.3 million. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund holds 2.53% of the stake in AIZ, owning 1,367,127 shares worth 236.31 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for AIZ since 9 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 7 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 1 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 1 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With AIZ analysts setting a high price target of $220.00 and a low target of $185.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $206.33. Based on these targets, AIZ could surge 42.76% to reach the target high and rise by 20.05% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 33.89% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. AIZ will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/07/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $13.31 being high and $12.40 being low. For AIZ, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $12.79. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Assurant Inc. reported $2.95 EPS against a consensus estimate of $2.95. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.91. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $3.38 and the low estimate is $2.89. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $3.16.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded AIZ stock several times over the past three months with 12 Buys and 5 Sells. In these transactions, 10,584 shares were bought while 1,310 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 26 while that of sell transactions has risen to 32 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 73,069 while 62,982 shares were sold.

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