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TheStreet Open House

TSC Ratings' Updates: Brown & Brown

The following ratings changes were generated on September 19.

Brown & Brown (BRO) has been upgraded from hold to buy. Brown & Brown, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a diversified insurance agency, wholesale brokerage, and service organization in the U.S. It operates in four segments: retail, national programs, wholesale brokerage and services. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 154.76% to $116.91 million when compared with the same quarter last year. In addition, BRO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -41.61%.

BRO's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.22 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.87 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.

The gross profit margin for BRO is 35.20% which we consider to be strong. Regardless of BRO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, BRO's net profit margin of 16.70% compares favorably with the industry average.

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