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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified

HCC Insurance Holdings

(

HCC

) as a new lifetime high candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified HCC Insurance Holdings as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • HCC has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $16.4 million.
  • HCC has traded 3,246 shares today.
  • HCC is trading at a new lifetime high.

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More details on HCC:

HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. underwrites non-correlated specialty insurance products worldwide. The company operates in five segments: U.S. Property & Casualty, Professional Liability, Accident & Health, U.S. Surety & Credit, and International. The U.S. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2%. HCC has a PE ratio of 11.2. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate HCC Insurance Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Recommends

The average volume for HCC Insurance Holdings has been 420,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. HCC has a market cap of $4.5 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. The stock has a beta of 0.58 and a short float of 0.6% with 2.31 days to cover. Shares are down 0.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreetRatings.com

Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings

rates HCC Insurance Holdings as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • HCC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.18 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, HCC INSURANCE HOLDINGS INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • HCC INSURANCE HOLDINGS INC has improved earnings per share by 7.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HCC INSURANCE HOLDINGS INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.04 versus $3.82 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 9.7% in earnings ($3.65 versus $4.04).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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