United Fire Group (NASDAQ: UFCS) is one of 92 public companies in the “Property & Casualty Insurance” industry, but how does it contrast to its peers? We will compare United Fire Group to similar businesses based on the strength of its earnings, dividends, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares United Fire Group and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
United Fire Group 4.07% 4.33% 1.01%
United Fire Group Competitors 9.50% 4.82% 2.59%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

58.3% of United Fire Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.8% of shares of all “Property & Casualty Insurance” companies are held by institutional investors. 5.8% of United Fire Group shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 15.6% of shares of all “Property & Casualty Insurance” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares United Fire Group and its peers revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
United Fire Group $1.14 billion $49.90 million 25.17
United Fire Group Competitors $11.30 billion $1.14 billion 82.45

United Fire Group’s peers have higher revenue and earnings than United Fire Group. United Fire Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Volatility & Risk

United Fire Group has a beta of 0.71, meaning that its stock price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, United Fire Group’s peers have a beta of 0.96, meaning that their average stock price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for United Fire Group and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
United Fire Group 0 2 1 0 2.33
United Fire Group Competitors 623 2289 2181 45 2.32

United Fire Group currently has a consensus target price of $46.33, indicating a potential upside of 0.57%. As a group, “Property & Casualty Insurance” companies have a potential upside of 5.02%. Given United Fire Group’s peers higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe United Fire Group has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Dividends

United Fire Group pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. United Fire Group pays out 61.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Property & Casualty Insurance” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.3% and pay out 35.2% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

United Fire Group peers beat United Fire Group on 13 of the 15 factors compared.

About United Fire Group

United Fire Group, Inc., formerly United Fire & Casualty Company, is engaged in the business of writing property and casualty insurance and life insurance and selling annuities. The Company operates in two segments: property and casualty insurance, and life insurance. The Company’s property and casualty insurance segment consists of commercial lines insurance, including surety bonds, personal lines insurance and assumed insurance. Its life insurance segment consists of deferred and immediate annuities, universal life insurance products and traditional life insurance products. Its life insurance segment consists solely of the operations of United Life Insurance Company. On February 1, 2012, the Company completed a holding company reorganization of United Fire Group, Inc., United Fire & Casualty Company and UFC MergeCo, Inc. On March 28, 2011, the Company acquired Mercer Insurance Group, Inc. (Mercer Insurance Group).

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