Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) to Strong Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $172.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Everest Re’s have underperformed the industry year to date. Exposure to cat loss induces volatility in underwriting profit. Also, high costs inducing margin contraction concern. Nonetheless, its global presence, product diversification, capital adequacy, long-term operating performance, financial flexibility and traditional risk management capabilities bode well. Consistent rise in premiums earned at its Insurance segment will likely improve expense and loss ratio. Its Reinsurance segment remains well-poised for leveraging opportunities, stemming from the continued disruption and evolution of reinsurance market. It boasts a strong capital position, with sufficient cash generation capabilities. It is lowering exposure to areas not meeting the right risk-return profile and effectively deploying capital to the areas that do.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. BofA Securities began coverage on shares of Everest Re Group in a research report on Monday, July 6th. They issued a buy rating and a $258.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Everest Re Group from $226.00 to $241.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 19th. UBS Group boosted their price objective on shares of Everest Re Group from $235.00 to $246.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, August 10th. Wells Fargo & Company raised shares of Everest Re Group from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $203.00 to $255.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 16th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Everest Re Group from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Everest Re Group presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $247.67.

Shares of NYSE RE opened at $200.80 on Wednesday. Everest Re Group has a 12-month low of $157.32 and a 12-month high of $294.31. The company has a market capitalization of $8.03 billion, a PE ratio of 15.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 0.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 0.36 and a quick ratio of 0.36. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $206.48 and its two-hundred day moving average is $204.26.

Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 5th. The insurance provider reported $2.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.44. The company had revenue of $2.05 billion for the quarter. Everest Re Group had a net margin of 6.24% and a return on equity of 5.74%. During the same period last year, the company earned $7.85 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Everest Re Group will post 12.48 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO John P. Doucette sold 1,006 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $215.75, for a total value of $217,044.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 23,698 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,112,843.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO John P. Doucette sold 994 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $223.05, for a total transaction of $221,711.70. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 24,704 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,510,227.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in RE. Capital International Investors increased its position in shares of Everest Re Group by 50.3% in the first quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 1,291,301 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $248,472,000 after acquiring an additional 432,049 shares in the last quarter. Viking Global Investors LP acquired a new stake in shares of Everest Re Group in the second quarter worth $86,238,000. LSV Asset Management increased its position in shares of Everest Re Group by 19.9% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 1,146,007 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $236,306,000 after acquiring an additional 190,472 shares in the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Everest Re Group by 61.0% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 361,492 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $74,540,000 after acquiring an additional 136,976 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nuance Investments LLC increased its position in shares of Everest Re Group by 111.7% in the second quarter. Nuance Investments LLC now owns 258,840 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $53,373,000 after acquiring an additional 136,570 shares in the last quarter. 93.28% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Everest Re Group Company Profile

Everest Re Group, Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides reinsurance and insurance products in the United States, Bermuda, and internationally. The company operates through four segments: U.S. Reinsurance, International, Bermuda, and Insurance. The U.S. Reinsurance segment writes property and casualty reinsurance; and specialty lines of business, including marine, aviation, surety, and accident and health insurance through reinsurance brokers, as well as directly with ceding companies in the United States.

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