Market Overview

UPDATE: Goldman Sachs Downgrades StanCorp, Notes Near-Term Risk

Related SFG
Morgan Stanley Lowers Price Target On StanCorp Financial Group As Disappointing Guidance Overshadows Strong Result
Earnings Scheduled For January 29, 2015
StanCorp Financial's (SFG) CEO Greg Ness on Q4 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript (Seeking Alpha)

In a report published Monday, Goldman Sachs analyst Christopher Giovanni downgraded StanCorp Financial Group (NYSE: SFG) from Neutral to Sell on near-term risk.

Giovanni noted Stancorp's six straight quarters of positive EPS surprises. Goldman Sachs continues to expect a continuation in positive momentum, but remarked that “the stock currently screens as the most expensive on PE and a notable outlier on PB-to-ROE regression. We also we think investors underappreciate the seasonal weakness we have historically seen in shares, which poses some near-term risk.”

The analyst reported that he sees long-term opportunities with growth from wages and payroll inflation. Goldman Sachs expects the industry to generate modest premium growth in 2014. Giovanni added, “a quicker recovery in payrolls and/or wages, particularly in the education and government sectors where SFG has outsized exposure, could make us more constructive on SFG shares.”

Goldman Sachs EPS estimate is below consensus for 1Q at $1.16 versus $1.23, and in 2Q at $1.17 versus $1.27. Giovanni raised their 2015 estimated EPS from $5.55 to $5.60 and introduced a 2016 estimate of $5.95.

Shares of StanCorp closed at $64.25 on Friday and are currently down 2.77% at $62.47.

Latest Ratings for SFG

Jan 2015DA DavidsonMaintainsHold
Oct 2014Sterne AgeeUpgradesNeutralBuy
Sep 2014Deutsche BankInitiates Coverage onHold

View More Analyst Ratings for SFG
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Christopher Giovanni Goldman SachsAnalyst Color Downgrades Analyst Ratings


Related Articles (SFG)

Around the Web, We're Loving...

Get Benzinga's Newsletters