Assurant downgraded at BofA/Merrill As previously reported, BofA/Merrill downgraded Assurant to Underperform from Neutral. The firm downgraded shares based on flat organic growth, rich valuation vs. book value and buybacks that are not longer accretive. Price target is $73.
Assurant reports Q4 EPS 97c, consensus $1.51 Reports Q4 revenue $2.55B, consensus $2.00B. The company said, "While fourth quarter results were disappointing and fell short of our expectations, we believe our transformation strategy will improve results and drive shareholder value. We are focusing resources and investments in targeted markets and increasing operating efficiency across the company as we continue to return capital to shareholders." The company said the EPS decrease primarily reflects lower contributions from the mobile business at Assurant Solutions and ongoing normalization of lender-placed insurance business at Assurant Specialty Property.