Why I think Suncorp Group Ltd could be a bargain buy

After dropping around 1% today, the shares of Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) have now shed around 5% of their value in the last five days. Having already been good value prior to this decline, I believe the insurance giant’s shares could now be a bargain buy.

It’s fair to say its full year results were less than inspiring. Although not as bad as analysts were expecting, group net profit after tax still fell over 8% to $1,038 million. Underperformance in its core insurance business was largely to blame, but has now been addressed through the transition to a new operating model.

This transition is not only expected to deliver $80 million in annualised savings, but also improve customer satisfaction across its brands and restore working claims performance. Part of the change will mean its customers have full access to its marketplace, allowing them to select their own solutions based on prior product purchases.

In a presentation Suncorp explained that it has adopted this strategy as it believes cross-selling just isn’t effective. Personally, I like the strategy and feel it will work very well for the company and its extensive list of brands which include AAMI and GIO to name just two.

Management appears optimistic that the changes it has made will result in a much stronger performance and is targeting a flat cost base and underlying net profit after tax growth in the medium term.

I’m confident it will deliver on this and believe we will see a return to profit growth next year. It would appear as though I’m not alone on this, with analysts expecting earnings per share to grow from 84.4 cents to 94.2 cents in FY 2017 according to CommSec.

Based on this forecast its share are changing hands at under 14x estimated FY 2017 earnings. This is a discount to both QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) and Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG) which are currently priced at 15x and 16x estimated FY 2017 earnings, respectively. Further enhancing its appeal is the fact that Suncorp’s estimated fully franked 5.2% dividend is the best of the lot too.

All in all, I feel there might not be a better time to invest in Suncorp.

Finally, if you're looking for more dividend options then look no further than these three blue chips. Each is growing its fully franked dividend at a strong rate and could be worth taking a closer look at today.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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