ANALYSTS have been busy taking their red pens to a number of insurance stocks, including Catlin, Benfield and JLT.

Lloyd's insurer Catlin, which is buying Wellington in a £600m deal, was the subject of a cautious note from Numis.

The broker said: "Concern over the integration of Wellington is likely to depress shares."

Commenting on rumours that head and deputy head of Wellington's aviation team, Robert Swinton and Noel Holloway, are the latest figures to step down, it said: "Although aviation rates are currently poor, we would be surprised if the departures were part of Catlin's plans for the group."

Numis calculated the unit accounted for premium income of around £70m in 2005. As Insurance Times went to press, Catlin was trading at 507p.

Jardine Lloyd Thompson slipped on Tuesday to as low as 412p after HSBC downgraded the shares from 'neutral' to 'underweight', due to the weak US dollar.

However, it lifted its target price from 351p to 378p.

Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch was more upbeat on Benfield Group, trading higher at 368p. "Following a 17% underperformance in 2006, the shares appear out of favour, suggesting a good time to buy," it explained in a 'buy' note.

"An inexpensive valuation, further share buybacks, margin expansion and reasonable trading conditions make for a compelling investment story in our view,"