Through The Fly's Eyes: Unum Group
Larry Schutts is a contributing editor for Theflyonthewall.com and the Vice-President of Stockwinners.com.
The Disability Insurance Specialists
Comprehensive insurance coverage involves disability income protection, as well as life and hospitalization considerations. There is a Chattanooga firm that is a particular specialist in that vital disability arena.
Unum Group (UNM) is the largest provider of group and individual disability income protection insurance in the United States and the United Kingdom. The firm also has a portfolio of other products, including long-term care insurance, life insurance, employer and employee-paid group benefits, and disability management services. Unum helps protect more than 25 million working people and their families. Competitors include Aetna (AET), Aflac (AFL), American International Group (AIG) and Cigna (CI).
The firm pleased investors earlier in the month, when it reported Q1 EPS of 50 cents (ex-items). Analysts had been expecting 45 cents. Management also guided FY07 EPS to $1.91-$1.95, versus consensus of $1.86. The CEO noted that he was particularly encouraged by continued improvement in the group income protection line of business. Shares popped on the news and subsequently moved into a bullish "pennant" consolidation pattern. Prices frequently exit pennants moving in the same direction they were traveling when they entered them. In this case, that would be to the upside.
Brokers recommend the issue with two "strong buys," six "holds" and five "sells." The UNM Price to Sales ratio (0.89), Price to Book ratio (1.27), Price to Free Cash Flow ratio (6.94), EPS Growth rate (21.95%) and Revenue per Employee ($949.17k) compare favorably with industry, sector and S&P 500 averages.
Institutional investors hold about 95% of the outstanding shares. The stock is one of those used to calculate the S&P 500 Index. Over the past 52 weeks, it has traded between $16.15 and $28.20. A stop-loss of $23.60 looks good here.