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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified American Equity Investment Life ( AEL) as a new lifetime high candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified American Equity Investment Life as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • AEL has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $11.7 million.
  • AEL has traded 4,368 shares today.
  • AEL is trading at a new lifetime high.

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More details on AEL:

American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, through its subsidiaries, develops and sells fixed index and fixed rate annuity products in 50 states and the District of Columbia. It issues fixed index annuities and fixed rate annuities, as well as single premium immediate annuities. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 0.7%. AEL has a PE ratio of 18.2. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates American Equity Investment Life a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

The average volume for American Equity Investment Life has been 346,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Equity Investment Life has a market cap of $2.2 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. The stock has a beta of 1.99 and a short float of 2.6% with 4.62 days to cover. Shares are down 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates American Equity Investment Life as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, AEL's share price has jumped by 25.95%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • AMERICAN EQTY INVT LIFE HLDG's earnings per share declined by 39.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AMERICAN EQTY INVT LIFE HLDG reported lower earnings of $1.57 versus $3.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.33 versus $1.57).
  • AEL, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 31.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, AMERICAN EQTY INVT LIFE HLDG's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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