• AIG & Hartford Book Value Metrics - Which To Use?

    By Adam Jones - March 12, 2013 | Tickers: AIG, HIG

     I've been looking into ways to get exposure to the insurance industry, and have narrowed the search to two companies: AIG (NYSE: AIG) and The Hartford Group (NYSE: HIG).  Both appear to be compelling investments at first glance.

    AIG provides a range of insurance and financial services.  The company received a huge bailout during the financial crisis and is now a hedge fund darling that is either loved or more »

  • This Insurer Belongs in Your Portfolio

    By Matthew Frankel - February 15, 2013 | Tickers: AFL, HIG, PRU

    AFLAC (NYSE: AFL) is the number one provider of worksite insurance in the United States, and their products are marketed at worksites and on TV (everyone knows the duck), intended to fill gaps in primary coverage.  What a great deal of American investors don’t realize is that AFLAC is also the number one issuer of individual insurance policies in Japan, with over 50 million customers.  In fact, about 80 more »

  • Buy the Financials Trading Below Book Value

    By Mark Holder - January 9, 2013 | Tickers: HIG, LNC, MET, PRU

    After the financial crisis, numerous financial-related stocks traded at prices below book values due to the fears in the accuracy of the reported balance sheets. In the years since the crisis, most of those fears have disappeared, yet many financial stocks haven’t regained the valuations suggested by the improving asset bases.

    A prime example exists in the insurance and retirement services sector where both Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE: HIGmore »)

  • Insurers Must Embrace Technology to Survive

    By Greg Gambone - December 18, 2012 | Tickers: HIG, MET, PRU

    Insurance industry giants continue to experience declines, depsite recent quarterly sales increases. Remaining profitable in the face of stiff competition and low interest rates requires embracing innovative new technology aimed at younger consumers.

  • This Insurer Is a Buy With its New CEO

    By Anh HOANG - December 16, 2012 | Tickers: GNW, MET, PRU

    Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) recently announced that they appointed Thomas J. McInerney to be the company’s new CEO and President, and he would be elected to be on the board of directors. Personally, I feel excited with this news, as Genworth Financial'a true profitability has been shadowed by the low consolidated earnings, which were restrained by its mortgaged insurance unit. Hopefully the new CEO will take some actions more »

  • The Insurance You Don't Think About

    By Matt Koppenheffer - December 3, 2012 | Tickers: Y, BRK-B, BRK-A, MKL, WRB

    We are all very familiar with a wide variety of insurance that we run into every day: health insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, etc. But there are a lot of insurers out there that take on some very specialized risks. Case in point: the insurance that Lloyd's and its syndicate members provided to the New York Road Runners Club for the New York City Marathon.

    The Wall Street more »

  • Biglari is Taking Aim at Unico American

    By Alex Gray - November 20, 2012 | Tickers: BH, CBRL, UNAM

    For the second time in two years, the director nominees of Biglari Holdings (NYSE: BH) have been rejected by the shareholders of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. (NASDAQ: CBRL).  Biglari currently owns approximately 18% of the outstanding Cracker Barrel shares and is the company’s largest shareholder.  However, a superior stock performance and a more focused management appeared to trump valid arguments presented by Biglari. 

    It is unclear what more »

  • Follow George Soros and David Tepper Into This Insurer

    By Anh HOANG - November 20, 2012 | Tickers: AZSEY.PK, AIG, AXAHY.PK

    It is interesting to see many famous hedge fund managers share the same long ideas. That is when investors should take notice. It might be a sole long idea, or just a hedge of a short. We do not know. Nevertheless, when many of them buy into one stock, it might indicate their bullish attitude toward that particular investment, especially when it accounts for a big chunk of their portfolios more »

  • The Future For Long-Term Care Insurance Companies

    By Jesse Slome - November 19, 2012 | Tickers: GNW, MFC, MET, PRU, UNM

    The negative-sounding headlines about departures of insurance companies that offered long-term care insurance and those now seeking double digit premium increases could lead one to believe that the industry's future is indeed dim.

    Having spent most of the past two decades focused on long-term care insurance and working with many of the industry's bright minds, I fear many investors and are coming to their erroneous conclusions simply because more »

  • A No-Brainer Investment

    By Anh HOANG - November 7, 2012 | Tickers: BRK-A, DVA, MEG, PSX, WFC

    Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) is one of the most admired corporations in the world. Two of the most legendary investors in the world, Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, have managed to create long term value for their shareholders. For over 40 years, shareholders have enjoyed the annual compounded return of around 20%.

    <img src="/media/images/user_14219/screen-shot-2012-11-05-at-104535-pm_large.png" />

    Recently, the company just announced its Q3 earnings results. Its third quarter revenue was $41 billion, 22.8 more »

  • Looking Beyond GAAP Consolidated Figures: This Loss Making Insurer is a Buy

    By Anh HOANG - October 27, 2012 | Tickers: BRK-A, FNF, ORI, RDN

    The GAAP accounting rule has been improved over the years to truly reflect business fundamentals. However, it should be treated with care by investors as even with so many improvements, it still has limitations. One particular case is when a holding company, with many subsidiaries, consolidates its financial figures. The more subsidiaries are lumped together, the less useful those presentations are for making informed investment decisions. Warren Buffett commented that more »

  • Healthcare Insurance Sector Still Hot for M&A

    By Tony Daltorio - October 10, 2012 | Tickers: AET, CI, UNH, WLP

    One thing can definitely be said for President Obama's attempt at healthcare reform: It certainly lit a fire under healthcare insurers' mergers and acquisitions. More than $18 billion in M&A activity has occurred over the past 12 months, but the wheeling and dealing in the sector is likely not done yet. In fact, on the international scene, it may just be starting.

  • P&C- The Next Big Thing

    By Sharmistha Banerjee - September 28, 2012 | Tickers: ACE, AIG, BRK-A

    It is a known fact that Insurance is big business throughout the world without which, no modern economy can move forward. Even though the scenario is challenging and volatile, it is just a matter of time when the market forces will be ruled by the Insurance sector.

    The Emerging Sector

    Natural catastrophes like earthquakes tornadoes and floods plague the industry at large. Calamities in 2011 produced $105 billion in insured more »

  • Do You Know About This Insurer's Bailout Saga?

    By Ron Chatterjee - September 12, 2012 | Tickers: AFG, AIG, ANAT, BAC, HCC

    As you already might know, the US Treasury recently recovered around $18 billion, from the disinvestment of the 553.8 million shares of American International Group (NYSE: AIG) at $32.50 per piece, with a profit of around $12.4 billion. A move that turned a four-year old bailout into substantial profit for the American taxpayers! Needless to say, the US government still holds around 22% stake in the company more »

  • M&A Alive and Well in the Healthcare Insurance Industry

    By Tony Daltorio - August 28, 2012 | Tickers: AET, CI, HNT, WCG, WLP

    The Obama Administration's healthcare reform program certainly kicks up a lot of political chatter every time it is mentioned. But from an investment perspective, it has had one definite has brought about greatly increased merger and acquisition activity in the healthcare insurance sector. The past 10 months has seen $14.3 billion in takeover activity in the sector, according to Bloomberg. 

    The latest evidence of that trend more »

  • Insurers Wilt in US Drought

    By Tony Daltorio - August 28, 2012 | Tickers: ACE, AFG, DE, WFC

    In a recent article, some of the winners and losers thanks to the worst drought in the United States in a half century were discussed. Since then the news has gotten worse as the U.S. Meteorological Service recently stated that drought had now engulfed in excess of 85% of the country's acreage devoted to both corn and soybeans. So it should come as no shock that there will more »

  • Allstate Share Price Rises After Customers are Exiled

    By Greg Gambone - August 10, 2012 | Tickers: BRK-A, ALL, TRV

    Allstate's share price rose modestly over the past week as the insurance giant continues to back further out of homeowners insurance markets it feels are at risk of being hit by a major hurricane. 

  • Occupy Profit: Cashing in on Community Banks

    By Daniel Ferry - May 31, 2012 | Tickers: BAC, JPM, NES.DL, TMP, WFC

    Whither went the banks of yesteryear? Those fabled pillars of the community, doing quaint, old-fashioned things like lending money and making a profit, instead of modern trendy things like jeopardizing the world economy and betting against their own clients? The truth is that these old-fashioned banks never left us; we left them. Now, amid wide dissatisfaction with the banking giants, many people are returning to community banks, and these neighborhood institutions can be just as rewarding to investors.

  • Why's the Duck Stuck?

    By Peter Horn - May 29, 2012 | Tickers: AFL | Editor's Choice

    Aflac (NYSE: AFL) shares have struggled of late as the company continues to try to overcome the effects of problematic European investments.  For a long time, Aflac was a conservative growth option.  But, the credit crisis and recession have taken their toll on Aflac’s investors.  They now face a variety of short term challenges as a result of past investment decisions.  There has been a lot to weed from more »

  • How Do I Budget for a Future Broken Bone?

    By Angelique Andrae - March 1, 2012

    As reported by the New York Times today, the senate voted against the bill that would allow insurance companies or employers to deny certain treatment under their health insurance coverage for religious reasons.  This got me thinking about health insurance in general and how health coverage affects our budgets. 

    I’ve heard horror stories about kids with brain cancer who reached their lifetime limits for care by the age of more »

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