With the stock trading at more than 2x book value, investors busily bidding up the price of Progressive (PGR +0.4%) are making a bet on top-line growth will soon turn up, says MKM Partners. It's an argument the shop agrees with as it maintains a Buy rating.
While waiting for that, ideas of an imminent special dividend of as much as $1.50 per share could boost the stock in the near-term. The timing would match October 2012's special payout of $1. Last year, the total payout of $600M was just over 10% of the insurer's statutory surplus of $5.8B. The surplus position now is $6.5B, and could rise to as much as $6.8B by year's end.