AmTrust upgraded at Compass Point after big quarter


"We remain confident that management will continue to take advantage of opportunities to grow its business both organically and through acquisitions in both the fee based and underwriting segments," says Compass Point's Ken Billingsley, boosting AmTrust (AFSI) to a Buy with $49 price target after yesterday's earnings blowout.

The company is characterized as a buyer of distressed assets, but management sees itself as looking for motivated sellers in which there are not many bidders, says Billingsley. "AFSI has been very opportunistic, and [in] a market in which premium rates may be peaking and economic growth remains anemic we would expect AFSI to continue to find attractive candidates." He takes particular note of this year's deal with Tower Group.

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