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Allstate(ALL - Get Report) is having a good year in 2012 -- the firm has seen its shares rally more than 15% so far year-to-date, outpacing the by a factor of nearly two. A lot of that success is coming from the growth of the firm's car insurance business, a line that's helped to maintain profits as Allstate reduces its exposure to home insurance.
Risk is a four-letter word for Allstate right now. With low interest rates and significant underwriting competition, the firm has little wiggle room if it misprices the risks that it's insuring. Catastrophic losses from the homeowners insurance segment have been a thorn in Allstate's side for a while now -- by winding down its exposure to that segment in favor of the more predictable auto insurance business, investors should be able to see the firm's margins expand in the mid-term.
Since the financial crisis, Allstate has done a good job of shoring up its capital base and filling any gaps in its balance sheet. Today, with strong cash flow generation from premiums, the firm should be able to keep churning out its dividend for the foreseeable future.
On Tuesday, Allstate raised its dividend by 4.76% to 22 cents per share. That gives the firm a 2.79% yield right now.
Allstate shows up on a recent list of
10 Stocks JPMorgan Says May Rise Up to 58%.