Expert says investors are ‘missing this inflection point’ for QBE shares

The tides might be turning for QBE, one expert reckons.

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Key points

  • QBE shares have staged a comeback rally in 2022 and are well in the green since trading resumed in January 
  • Experts are turning more constructive on the stock and note it has the potential to deliver upside in 2022 based on the current macroeconomic climate 
  • In the last 12 months, the QBE share price has gained 26% 

Shares of QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) are tracking higher on Friday and now rest in the green.

They initially spiked from the open, however, have since taken a backward step from intraday highs of $12.41.

At the time of writing, investors are paying $12.32 apiece for QBE shares.

Is the QBE share price at a tipping point?

After a difficult period these past few years, the QBE share price has managed to reverse course in 2022 and trade 9% higher.

Meanwhile, over the past month of trade, QBE has jumped 8% and has managed to book a 26% gain during the last 12 months.

Perhaps it’s these returns that have sophisticated investors more constructive on the insurance giant, backed by its underlying fundamentals.

That could be the case, according to hedge fund manger Mark Landau, chief investment officer (CIO) of L1 Capital.

Sure, its share price has faltered in recent years, but the devil’s in the detail with QBE, Landau says.

“If you look in detail at the last result of QBE’s profits, if you take away all the actuarial assumptions that effectively lower their profit, their profit was actually 40% better than what they told the market,” he recently told Livewire.

Even though investors “hate the stock”, there are a number of catalysts feeding into QBE’s operating story right now.

One of those factors is the amount of short-dated bonds QBE holds on its books, Livewire says, noting that for “every 1% increase in bond yields, the insurer gets a roughly 20% increase in profits”.

Landau says that no one expects QBE to deliver higher profits, “let alone 20% [profit] on top of the underlying insurance business”.

On this backdrop, the CIO submits that investors who are overlooking QBE right now could be missing an inflection point “similar to what we had in 2001”.

Analysts are positive about the QBE share price too, touching on similar points to Landau in their recent assessment of the company.

In particular, each of UBS and JP Morgan rate QBE as a buy, valuing it at $15 and $15.50 per share respectively.

Motley Fool contributor Zach Bristow has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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