Symetra Financial Corporation Stock Downgraded (SYA)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SYA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • SYA's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Insurance industry. The net income has decreased by 24.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $58.10 million to $43.80 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, SYMETRA FINANCIAL CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Symetra Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides group and individual insurance products and retirement products in the United States and the District of Columbia. The company has a P/E ratio of eight, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Symetra Financial has a market cap of $1.43 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are up 32.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full Symetra Financial Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.
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