Piper Sandler analyst Paul Newsome raised the firm's price target on Hartford Financial to $96 from $83 and keeps an Overweight rating on the shares post the Q4 results. The company reported better than expected net investment income in the commercial lines unit and its guidance suggests little change in 2023 bottom line expectations, the analyst tells investors in a research note.
Reports Q4 revenue $5.82B, consensus $5.74B. "Fourth quarter results were excellent contributing to an outstanding 2022 that delivered a core earnings ROE of 14.4 percent. Results reflect strong underwriting with solid premium growth across the business, excellent margins, and a significant contribution from the investment portfolio. With another quarter of strong financial performance, The Hartford continues to demonstrate the power of our strategy and superior execution," said Chairman and CEO Christopher Swift.
BMO Capital analyst Michael Zaremski initiated coverage of Hartford Financial (HIG) with a Market Perform rating and $77 price target. Zaremski expects an upward sloping reserve release trendline, but not as positive as peer Travelers (TRV), the analyst tells investors in a research note. He views Hartford's small commercial BOP as the envy of the industry based on conversations with insurance brokers.
The Hartford has appointed Hank Dominioni head of sales and underwriting for its Middle and Large Commercial Businesses' Northeast Division. In his new role, Dominioni will be responsible for leading sales and underwriting operations for the company's independent agents, brokers and customers across seven Northeastern states from Maine to New York. He will report to Gretchen Thompson, head of Field Operations and General Industries for Middle and Large Commercial insurance.
Citi analyst Michael Ward opened "Catalyst Watches" on Hartford Financial (HIG), Prudential (PRU) and Reinsurance Group (RGA) ahead of the Q4 reports. He likes MetLife (MET) and AIG (AIG) into the quarter. With uncertainty around economic outlooks, inflation, loss cost assumptions, and reinsurance, "we're again looking less for big beat-and-raise prints, and more towards names where expectations are lower or where forward-looking sentiment is less prone to caution," Ward tells investors in a research note.
As previously reported, Evercore ISI analyst David Motemaden downgraded Hartford Financial (HIG) to In Line from Outperform with an $85 price target. Hartford is "inexpensive," and underperformed the group in 2022, but he struggles to see the stock re-rating and sees more relative upside at Travelers (TRV), Chubb (CB) and W. R. Berkley (WRB), Motemaden tells investors.
Piper Sandler analyst Paul Newsome raised the firm's price target on Hartford Financial to $83 from $80 and keeps an Overweight rating on the shares. The analyst estimates Q4 book values for the property-casualty insurers will increase by 5.6%. The rise can be attributed to the 1.9% increase in the bond market as well as a 4.4% increase in the equity market, following the challenging third quarter, Newsome tells investors in a research note.
Goldman Sachs analyst Alex Scott downgraded Hartford Financial to Neutral from Buy with an unchanged price target of $84. Hartford's business mix tilted more towards workers' compensation and the potential for more price competition in standard lines could weaken the company's ability to continue showing accident year loss ratio improvement, Scott tells investors in a research note. The analyst thinks investors will have an "intense focus" on accident year ratio performance in 2023 and that Hartford's business mix poses more potential headwinds relative to peers.
Hartford has appointed Terence Shields to the newly created role of chief sustainability officer, leading Environmental, Social and Governance efforts across the enterprise. Shields will lead the Office of Sustainability as it guides Hartford's overall ESG strategy, initiatives and disclosures and will oversee the execution of the company's ESG agenda. He will also continue to serve as assistant corporate secretary, supporting the board of directors' oversight of ESG as well as assessing emerging ESG-related regulation. Shields dually reports to chief marketing and communications officer Claire Burns and general counsel David Robinson. Shields has held a variety of leadership roles since joining The Hartford in 2006, most recently, serving as head of Corporate Law and interim head of sustainability.