With 2012 just beginning, now's a great time to gauge how the stocks you're interested in are likely to do this year and beyond. By knowing what stock analysts and fellow investors expect from a stock, you'll be smarter about whether you should buy it for your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.
Today, let's take a look at Travelers
Forecasts on Travelers
|Median Target Stock Price||$63|
|2011 EPS Estimate||$3.32|
|2012 EPS Estimate||$5.79|
|Expected Annual Earnings Growth, Next 5 Years||9%|
|CAPS Rating (out of 5)||****|
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Motley Fool CAPS.
Will Travelers have a better 2012?
Analysts have mixed thoughts about Travelers. On one hand, their target price for the stock is only a few dollars higher than its current share price. Yet earnings are expected to bounce back sharply from their 2011 swoon, with a belief that the major catastrophic events of last year won't repeat themselves.
Still, even 2012's much-improved earnings aren't expected to match Travelers' 2010 levels. That stands in stark contrast to Allstate
Even with those challenges, Travelers has stayed healthy on the dividend front. It has a seven-year streak of raising dividends annually, including a 14% raise last year. It's not the only insurance company to give more money back to shareholders -- ACE Limited
Bad years often allow insurance companies to increase their prices, reaping bigger rewards if the industry doesn't face back-to-back bad loss years. In the end, 2011's pain could mean Travelers shareholders' gain.
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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.