Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Why United Fire Group Inc. Shares Are Red Hot

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of United Fire Group (NASDAQ: UFCS  ) , a property and casualty insurer, as well as life insurance product and fixed annuity marketer in the U.S., vaulted higher by as much as 15% after reporting its fourth-quarter earnings results before the opening bell.

So what: For the quarter, United Fire Group reported operating income per diluted share of $1 compared to just $0.12 per share in the year-ago period as considerably fewer catastrophe losses weighed on its results relative to fiscal 2012. Comparatively speaking, Wall Street had only been expecting a profit of $0.62 per share for the quarter. Overall, consolidated net investment income rose 18.5% for the quarter to $30 million, while book value increased to $30.87 per share, a nearly 7% rise from where it ended last year. In its P&C segment, net premiums earned rose 9% to $182.4 million as catastrophe losses fell 90% to just $3 million during the quarter.

Now what: The great thing about P&C insurers is that they can simply boost premium pricing as needed to help offset catastrophe losses. The downside, though, is that the weather is brutally unpredictable, so you just never know when a major disaster is going to strike. Over the very long term, United Fire has shown a strong tendency to grow its book value and reward shareholders with a dividend often in the 2% range. This report demonstrates those consistent tendencies, and I would certainly suggest that shareholders not lose sleep or overreact to a single quarterly report from this company.

United Fire Group is scorching higher today, but it'll probably have a hard time keeping up with this top stock in 2014
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2843452, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/2/2015 3:25:06 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,246.35 188.00 1.17%
S&P 500 1,932.12 18.27 0.95%
NASD 4,706.04 69.93 1.51%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/2/2015 3:09 PM
UFCS $33.51 Up +0.53 +1.61%
United Fire & Casu… CAPS Rating: *****