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Are Finance Stocks Lagging Assured Guaranty (AGO) This Year?

The Finance group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Assured Guaranty (AGO) 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? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Finance sector should help us answer this question.

Assured Guaranty is a member of our Finance group, which includes 854 different companies and currently sits at #13 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. Assured Guaranty is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AGO's full-year earnings has moved 7.5% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.


Based on the latest available data, AGO has gained about 3.9% so far this year. Meanwhile, the Finance sector has returned an average of 3.5% on a year-to-date basis. As we can see, Assured Guaranty is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.

Another Finance stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Bank of America (BAC). The stock has returned 18.8% year-to-date.

The consensus estimate for Bank of America's current year EPS has increased 3.2% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Looking more specifically, Assured Guaranty belongs to the Insurance - Multi line industry, which includes 38 individual stocks and currently sits at #149 in the Zacks Industry Rank. Stocks in this group have gained about 7.2% so far this year, so AGO is slightly underperforming its industry this group in terms of year-to-date returns.

In contrast, Bank of America falls under the Banks - Major Regional industry. Currently, this industry has 15 stocks and is ranked #59. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved +13.3%.

Going forward, investors interested in Finance stocks should continue to pay close attention to Assured Guaranty and Bank of America as they could maintain their solid performance.

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