Will This Downgrade Hurt RenaissanceRe (RNR) Stock Today? (Update)

Update (9:34 a.m.): Updated with Monday market open information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bank of America/Merrill Lynch downgraded RenaissanceRe  (RNR) to "underperform" from "neutral" and set a $91 target price. The firm cited valuation with an increasingly challenging underwriting environment.

The stock was down 0.49% to $96.54 at 9:33 a.m. on Monday.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates RENAISSANCERE HOLDINGS LTD as a "buy" with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate RENAISSANCERE HOLDINGS LTD (RNR) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 13.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • RNR's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.07 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, RENAISSANCERE HOLDINGS LTD's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for RENAISSANCERE HOLDINGS LTD is currently very high, coming in at 82.09%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 69.04% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 126.14% to $409.92 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, RENAISSANCERE HOLDINGS LTD has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 22.05%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: RNR Ratings Report

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

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.

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