Insurers’ share prices trading below historical averages

By National Underwriter

National Underwriter

By Warren S. Hersch

Share prices of major life insurers are trading below their historical averages, new research shows.

A report from Sterne Agee reveals that shares for nine of 13 life insurers are trading below their historical averages, the discount ranging from 62 percent to 99 percent. Just four companies — Prudential Financial, Ameriprise Financial, Torchmark and Unum — are enjoying share prices above their historical averages. A recap in share price performance for nine of the stocks follows.

Current share price$65.00$58.56$96.44$33.75$45.02$49.40$44.96$45.45$82.00
Current vs. historical average62%86%180%59%77%85%97%85%114%
Current vs. Average, 2003-200756%58%166%52%66%70%73%81%91%

“Given the lack of year-to-date stock performance across [the life insurance] sector, we have argued investors should be far more selective,” the report states. “Where stock picking has mattered very little [year-to-date], we think it will matter much more looking forward.”

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