This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

RenaissanceRe Nabs Two Analyst Endorsements

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- RenaissanceRe (RNR) shares have rallied 15% over the past three months. Two analysts said Friday that the reinsurer's run may continue.

Citigroup analyst Keith Walsh added RenaissanceRe to the investment bank's Top Picks Live list, saying the company is the best-positioned insurer to take advantage of firming rates. In addition, Walsh says RenaissanceRe is primed for strong growth and that Wall Street analysts will likely revise profit forecasts for the company higher in the near term.

Walsh notes that there were approximately 820 natural catastrophe events in 2011 with total insured losses of about $105 billion, making last year the second most costly since 1980. "While these losses were not sufficient to create a hard market, RNR is seeing solid price increases, which we would also define as adequate from an ROE perspective and sustainable in 2012 owing to increased demand for reinsurance," Walsh writes.

Additionally, Walsh said he expects RenaissanceRe to resume share buybacks. "Management has indicated share buy backs could resume beginning in 4Q11, making them one of a handful of underwriters that can write more business and return capital to shareholders," Walsh writes.

In addition to increasing his 2012 and 2013 profit estimates, Walsh reiterated his "buy" rating on RenaissanceRe and raised his price target to $85 from $80. In adding the stock to Citi's Top Picks Live! List, Walsh removed rival insurer XL Group (XL), although Citi still retains a "buy" rating on the stock. Shares of RenaissanceRe closed Thursday at $72.97.

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo analyst John Hall upgraded RenaissanceRe to "outperform" from "market perform," arguing the company has set conservative guidance for 10% growth in its managed cat premiums in 2012. "Additionally RNR has proven that it can utilize multiple capital resources to take advantage of market opportunities," Hall adds.

Hall also upgraded Travelers (TRV) to "outperform," saying the Dow component is "positioned to capitalize on the improving rates in the primary insurance market." Meanwhile, Hall downgraded Axis Capital (AXS) to "market perform," arguing that a reversion to the mean for the company's share price may be extended due to the transition of CEO John Charman to the chairman position in May.

Hall raised his valuation range for RenaissanceRe to a range of $82 to $86 from the previous range of $72 to $76. He also increased his valuation range for Travelers to $67 to $72 from the prior valuation range of $60 to $65. Axis Capital's valuation range was cut to $32 to $35 from the previous range of $36 to $39.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Robert Holmes.

>To follow Robert Holmes on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/RobTheStreet.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,098.45 +18.88 0.11%
S&P 500 2,003.37 +6.63 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,580.2710 +22.5760 0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs