Have you been paying attention to shares of Selective Insurance SIGI? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 8.6% over the past month. SIGI hit a new 52-week high of $63.2 in the previous session. Selective Insurance has gained 7.2% since the start of the year compared to the -2.2% move for the Zacks Finance sector and the 3.1% return for the Zacks Insurance – Property and Casualty industry.

What’s Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has a great record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn’t missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on August 1, 2018, Selective Insurance Group reported EPS of $1.01 versus consensus estimate of $0.9.

For the current fiscal year, Selective Insurance Group is expected to post earnings of $3.53 per share on $2.6 billion in revenues. This represents a 13.5% change in EPS on a 7.48% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $4.18 per share on $2.77 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 18.41% and 6.47%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

While SIGI has moved to its 52-week high in the recent past, investors need to be asking, what is next for the company? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company is due for a pullback from this level.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as they provide investors with an additional way to sort through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Selective Insurance Group has a Value Score of B. The stock’s Growth and Momentum Scores are B and F, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 17.8X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 15.5X versus its peer group’s average of 19.8X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 1.1. This isn’t enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to look at the Zacks Rank for the stock, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Selective Insurance Group currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Selective Insurance Group meets the list of requirements. Thus, it seems as though SIGI shares could still be poised for more gains ahead.

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