Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG) — This is one of the leading U.S. multi-line insurance companies and a leading writer of property and casualty insurance. I last recommended it as a Top Stock to Buy for May, when it was trading at just over $27.
The company has had success in improving its balance sheet and realigning its distribution, and thus, its growth prospects have improved. Operating earnings for 2013 are estimated at $3.20, and $3.80 is expected in 2014. Since an increase in interest rates is beneficial to insurance companies, it is likely that these estimates will be revised upward. HIG has a dividend yield of 1.3%.
Technically, the stock completed a high-volume breakout from a cup-and-handle pattern with an impressive breakaway gap on Jan. 2. Our target was $32 in early May, and the stock hit a high of $31.51 on May 17.
HIG has broken above its recent bull channel and appears to be vulnerable to profit-taking. Buy on a pullback to its 50-day moving average at $28 with a trading objective of $35.