The Finance group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. American Financial Group (AFG) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Finance peers, we might be able to answer that question.
American Financial Group is one of 886 individual stocks in the Finance sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #2 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different sector groups. The average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups is measured, and the sectors are listed from best to worst.
The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. American Financial Group is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AFG's full-year earnings has moved 1.3% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.
According to our latest data, AFG has moved about 7.8% on a year-to-date basis. Meanwhile, the Finance sector has returned an average of -14.7% on a year-to-date basis. This means that American Financial Group is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.
Another Finance stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR). The stock has returned 25.6% year-to-date.
In Cullen/Frost Bankers' case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 6.7% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
To break things down more, American Financial Group belongs to the Insurance - Property and Casualty industry, a group that includes 40 individual companies and currently sits at #165 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has gained an average of 0% so far this year, meaning that AFG is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.
On the other hand, Cullen/Frost Bankers belongs to the Banks - Southwest industry. This 19-stock industry is currently ranked #47. The industry has moved +5% year to date.
Going forward, investors interested in Finance stocks should continue to pay close attention to American Financial Group and Cullen/Frost Bankers as they could maintain their solid performance.
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