AmTrust Financial: A Five-Star Stock That's Prepared to Pop

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It's raining money!By Brian D. Pacampara, The Motley Fool

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, insurance holding company AmTrust Financial Services (AFSI) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at AmTrust's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

AmTrust Facts

Headquarters (founded)New York
Market Cap$1.13 billion
IndustryProperty and casualty insurance
Trailing-12-Month Revenue$1 billion

CEO Barry Zyskind

CFO Ronald Pipoly Jr.

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)21.3%
Cash/Debt$234.1 million / $660.4 million
Dividend Yield1.7%

Markel (MKL)

Travelers (TRV)

Source: Capital IQ (a division of Standard and Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS

On CAPS, 98% of the 611 members who have rated AmTrust so far believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include cnbcgb and FoolishMikee.

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Less than two months ago, cnbcgb listed several of AmTrust's positives: "Low P/E trailing and future. ... [H]igh recurring income. High ROI...Has momentum, which I normally don't chase, but this one is repricing appropriately."

In fact, AmTrust currently sports a cheapish forward P/E of seven. That represents a discount to other insurance stocks like Markel (23.5), Travelers (9.8), and even AIG (AIG) (14.1).

CAPS member FoolishMikee elaborates on the bull case:

[T]his $1 billion small-cap will rise as it is more covered, and it grows. Dividends have increased every year since going public in 2006, standing at 'only' 1.73%, however, it's payout ratio (MRQ) stands at a small 14%, and I believe in the CEO's statement in full year 2010 conference call: "we're confident that the model we have built is in very good shape ... continue to creating very good returns to our shareholders."

What do you think about AmTrust, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Markel is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool owns shares of AmTrust and Markel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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