It is time to buy QBE Insurance Group Ltd?

The odds look to be in investors’ favour at this point.

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What: QBE Insurance Group Ltd’s (ASX: QBE) share price has jumped 3.3% today and investors will now be wondering if the stock has stopped falling and could be set to move higher.

It’s been a shocking six months for investors in the global insurance giant with the shares falling nearly 27% since early December when the company was forced to increase claims provisions in its troubled North American operations.

Indeed the entire last decade has been pretty ordinary for shareholders with the stock price down 8.8% over the last 10 years; over the same period the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has gained 60%!

So what: Despite a number of upsets over recent years, arguably the bad news has now well and truly been priced in to QBE and arguably there is value at current levels and significant upside potential.

Now what: According to research by Morningstar, analyst consensus forecasts for QBE have the insurer earning 101.9 cents per share (cps) in 2014 and 131.2 cps in 2015. Not only does the 2015 forecast suggest a rebound in earnings is just around the corner, but it also puts the stock on a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.7 – which looks very appealing in its own right and also comparatively against Insurance Australia Group Limited’s (ASX: IAG) forecast PE of 11.6.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in QBE Insurance Group Ltd.

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