Sometimes its tough to find high-quality companies trading at great prices. However, with the FTSE 100 having fallen by 6% in the last month alone, the task of doing so has been made just a little easier.
Certainly, the outlook for the wider market looks uncertain, with the Eurozone economy and Ebola fears weighing heavy on investors minds. However, for long term investors this presents an opportunity to buy great companies at reasonable prices.
With this in mind, here are five insurance stocks that seem to fit the bill and which could beat the FTSE 100 moving forward.
Avivas (LSE: AV) turnaround plan is working. Indeed, the companys bottom line is in much healthier shape than it was even two years ago, with earnings set to increase by 8% next year. Certainly, there is more work for management to do, but Aviva seems to be on the right path and looks set to increase dividends per share by an impressive 15.6% next year.
This would put shares in the company on a yield of 3.9% and, with a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of just 10.4, Aviva could prove to be a top performer over the medium to long term.
When it comes to bottom line growth, Prudential (LSE: PRU) is super-reliable. Indeed, it has increased earnings in each of the last five years and is forecast to continue this trend over the next two years as well.
With a price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 1 and a payout ratio of only 38%, Prudential seems to offer growth at a reasonable price, as well as strong income potential. As such, it could be a top performer.
After an up-and-down few years, where profit levels frequently jumped around, Standard Life (LSE: SL) is due to return to strong and steady double-digit growth over the next two years. Combined with a heady P/E ratio of 17.9, this still equates to a PEG ratio of 1, which highlights just how strong the insurance companys forecasts are.
Such strong growth numbers should allow it to increase dividends at a rapid rate, although its current yield of 4.4% remains attractive and means that a mix of growth, value and income prospects could help shares in Standard Life to beat the FTSE 100.
Life as an RSA (LSE: RSA) shareholder has been tough in recent years, as allegations of wrongdoing have significantly hurt sentiment. However, new management seems to be turning the business around, with earnings due to rise by an impressive 14% next year. This puts RSA on an enticing PEG ratio of 0.9.
Although dividends are less than historic levels, RSA is still due to yield 3.6% next year. When combined with strong growth potential, this could be enough to push shares to higher highs.
Trading on a P/E ratio of 10.5, shares in Old Mutual (LSE: OML) are dirt cheap. Indeed, concerns about the South African economy have held them back somewhat during 2014, being down 7% year-to-date.
However, the future could be much brighter for the insurer. Thats because its bottom line is all set to rise by 17% next year, which puts it on a hugely attractive PEG ratio of 0.5. Couple this with a growing yield of 5.1% and its difficult to justify anything but a share price rise over the medium term.
Of course, these aren’t the only 5 companies that could beat the FTSE 100. That’s why we’ve written a free and without obligation guide to 5 Stocks That Could Smash The FTSE 100.
The 5 companies in question are from a diverse range of industries, but all have dependable dividends, exciting growth prospects and trade at super-low valuations. As a result, they could boost your returns and make 2014 and beyond an even more prosperous period for your investments.
Click here to find out all about them — it’s completely free and without any further obligation to do so.
Peter Stephens owns shares of Aviva, Old Mutual, RSA Insurance Group, and Standard Life. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.