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

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $172.00 target price 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.”

RE has been the subject of a number of other research reports. UBS Group increased their price objective on shares of Everest Re Group from $235.00 to $246.00 and gave the stock 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 increased their price objective for the stock from $203.00 to $255.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 16th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target 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. BofA Securities started 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 target for the company. 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 issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $247.67.

NYSE:RE opened at $200.80 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 0.36 and a current ratio of 0.36. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.38, a PEG ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 0.45. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $206.48 and a 200 day moving average price of $204.26. Everest Re Group has a fifty-two week low of $157.32 and a fifty-two week high of $294.31.

Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 5th. The insurance provider reported $2.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.44. The firm had revenue of $2.05 billion during the quarter. Everest Re Group had a net margin of 6.24% and a return on equity of 5.74%. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $7.85 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Everest Re Group will post 12.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO John P. Doucette sold 1,006 shares of Everest Re Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $215.75, for a total transaction of $217,044.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 23,698 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,112,843.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO John P. Doucette sold 994 shares of Everest Re Group 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 sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 24,704 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,510,227.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV raised its stake in Everest Re Group by 10.7% during the 2nd quarter. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV now owns 4,182 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $862,000 after acquiring an additional 404 shares in the last quarter. UBS Group AG raised its stake in Everest Re Group by 159.3% during the 2nd quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 41,433 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $8,543,000 after acquiring an additional 25,457 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its stake in Everest Re Group by 21.8% during the 2nd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 35,027 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $7,221,000 after acquiring an additional 6,277 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio raised its stake in Everest Re Group by 20.8% during the 2nd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 5,790 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,193,000 after acquiring an additional 996 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rafferty Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Everest Re Group by 451.3% during the 2nd quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC now owns 8,259 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,703,000 after acquiring an additional 6,761 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.28% of the company’s stock.

About Everest Re Group

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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