With the S&P 500 up about 28% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average up about 27% so far in 2013, it is going to be very hard to expect a repeat in 2014 from many of the key stocks. That may be especially true for the large diversified conglomerate stocks, particularly for Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A). 24/7 Wall St. wanted to look at a review of the sector for Warren Buffett and his peers.
The performance of conglomerates has been more than impressive. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) was up just over 30% year-to-date in 2013 as of Monday. Warren Buffett’s shares had outperformed other conglomerates, but that is no longer the case. It seems that at 174,800, the stock needed to pull back now that the 52-week and all-time high was up 4,000 higher.
Perhaps the largest issue we have seen was that Berkshire Hathaway’s book value per share, the key Buffett says he should be measured by, was up 11% for the year in the company’s last earnings report. That compared to a share price gain of 29% at the time for the A-shares and 27% for the B-shares. We pointed out how this was a serious disconnect.
5 Best Insurance Stocks To Invest In Right Now: W.R. Berkley Corporation(WRB)
W. R. Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company, operates as commercial lines writers in the property casualty insurance business primarily in the United States. The company operates in five segments: Specialty, Regional, Alternative Markets, Reinsurance, and International. The Specialty segment underwrites third-party liability risks, primarily excess, and surplus lines, including premises operations, professional liability, commercial automobile, products liability, and property lines. The Regional segments provide commercial insurance products to small-to-mid-sized businesses, and state and local governmental entities primarily in the 45 states of the United States. The Alternative Markets segment develops, insures, reinsures, and administers self-insurance programs and other alternative risk transfer mechanisms. This segment offers its services to employers, employer groups, insurers, and alternative market funds, as well as provides a range of fee-based servic es, including consulting and administrative services. The Reinsurance segment engages in the underwriting property casualty reinsurance on a treaty and a facultative basis, including individual certificates and program facultative business; and specialty and standard reinsurance lines, and property and casualty reinsurance. The International segment offers personal and commercial property casualty insurance in South America; commercial property casualty insurance in the United Kingdom and continental Europe; and reinsurance in Australia, Southeast Asia, and Canada. The company was founded in 1967 and is based in Greenwich, Connecticut.
- [By Monica Gerson]
W.R. Berkley (NYSE: WRB)is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $0.74 per share on revenue of $1.57 billion.
V.F. Corp (NYSE: VFC) is projected to report its Q3 earnings at $3.78 per share on revenue of $3.34 billion.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings reports expected on Monday include:
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.48 on revenue of $1.10 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.13 on revenue of $905.09 million. Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $1.19 on revenue of $2.07 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.21. W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE: WRB) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.71 on revenue of $1.57 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.61 on revenue of $1.42 billion. Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.44 on revenue of $1.27 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.56 on revenue of $1.31 billion.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Insurance holding company W.R. Berkley (NYSE: WRB ) announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.10 per share, an 11% increase over the $0.09 per share it paid last quarter.
5 Best Insurance Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Muenchener Rueckversicherungs Gesellschaft AG in Muenchen (MUV2)
Muenchener Rueckversicherungs Gesellschaft AG in Muenchen is a Germany-based holding company engaged in reinsurance and insurance business fields. The Company diversifies its operations into reinsurance, primary insurance, Munich Health and Asset management. The Reinsurance business comprises five divisions: Life; Europe and Latin America; Germany, Asia Pacific and Africa; Special and Financial Risks, and Global Clients and North America. The business covers a range of products from traditional reinsurance products to solutions for risk assumption. The Company’s primary insurance activities are combined into the ERGO Insurance Group (ERGO) and offers direct insurance, life, property-casualty, health, legal expenses and travel insurance products. It covers the Company’s international health reinsurance business and health primary insurance outside Germany and engages the risk management services. The Asset management business handles the investment activities of Munich Re and ERGO. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Jonathan Morgan]
Munich Re (MUV2), the world’s biggest reinsurer, dropped 4.9 percent to 145.25 euros after it said second-quarter profit fell 35 percent, missing analysts’ estimates, as claims arising from natural disasters rose. Net income dropped to 529 million euros from 808 million euros a year earlier, trailing the 557.1 million-euro average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
5 Best Insurance Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Genworth Financial Inc (GNW)
Genworth Financial, Inc., a financial security company, provides insurance, wealth management, investment, and financial solutions in the United States and internationally. The company offers various insurance and fixed annuity products, including life and long-term care insurance products; payment protection insurance products for consumers primarily to meet specified payment obligations; and wealth management products, such as managed account programs with advisor support and financial planning services. It also provides mortgage insurance products and related services to insure prime-based, individually underwritten residential mortgage loans or flow mortgage insurance; and mortgage insurance on a structured or bulk basis, as well as offers services, analytical tools, and technology that enable lenders to operate and manage risk. In addition, the company provides institutional products consisting of funding agreements, funding agreements backing notes, and guaranteed in vestment contracts. Genworth Financial, Inc. distributes its products and services through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors, affinity groups, and sales specialists. The company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.
- [By Mani]
[Related -Genworth Financial (GNW): This Hot Financial Stock Still Has 70% Upside]
The company could get additional capital in the following ways, which may be used for dividends and share repurchases.
- [By Sue Chang and Saumya Vaishampayan]
Genworth Financial Inc. (GNW) shares added 4%. The insurer on Wednesday said it plans to expand and restructure its sales team this year to better work with mortgage originators.
- [By Selena Maranjian]
The biggest new holdings are Joy Global, and Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW ) . Other new holdings of interest include Linn Co (NASDAQ: LNCO ) , an oil-and-gas company with a dividend yield of 9.1%. It largely exists to own units of the master limited partnership Linn Energy and convert distributions into dividends. Linn and Linn Co recently acquired Berry Petroleum, and Linn is also building its position in the promising Permian Basin. Bulls like Linn’s cash generation and growth prospects. Bears have worried about operational mishaps and an SEC inquiry, but the inquiry has been fruitless. The stock has recently been upgraded by analysts at Robert W. Baird and Howard Weill.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
The bad news: Major stock indexes finished lower today. The good news: The damage was not as bad as it could have been, as Walt Disney (DIS), International Business Machines (IBM), 3M (MMM), Walgreen (WAG) and Genworth Financial (GNW) rose.
5 Best Insurance Stocks To Invest In Right Now: National Health Partners Inc (NHPR)
National Health Partners, Inc., incorporated on March 10, 1989, is a national healthcare membership organization that was formed to address the need for affordable healthcare nationwide. The Company creates, markets and sells membership programs targeted toward underserved markets in the healthcare industry through a national healthcare savings network called CARExpress. CARExpress is a network of over 1,000,000 participating hospitals, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other healthcare providers that have agreed to render their services and products to the Company’s members at discounted prices. CARExpress enables the Company’s members to engage in point-of-service transactions directly with participating healthcare providers and pay discounted prices.
The Company has designed membership programs that range from its traditional health discount programs that provide access to networks of providers that have agreed to provide its members with a reduced rate fo r services, to membership programs that include limited liability insurance benefits. The Company offers two families of CARExpress membership programs to its members, its CARExpress health discount programs, and its CARExpress Plus membership programs.
The Company’s CARExpress health discount programs consists of healthcare, including physicians, hospitals, ancillary services, dentists, prescription drugs, vision care, hearing aids, chiropractic services, alternative care, 24-hour nurseline, medical supplies and equipment, and long-term care facilities, which include skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, respite care and home health care. The Company provides its members with access to over 1,000,000 healthcare providers through its agreements with CareMark, Aetna, Optum, Outlook Vision, Integrated Health, Three Rivers, International Med-Care and HealthFi International.
The Company’s CARExpress Plus programs are membership program s consists of the Company’s CARExpress health discount progr! ams and limited liability insurance benefits underwritten by United States.The limited liability insurance benefits included in these programs are accidental death and dismemberment coverage (AD&D), accident medical expense coverage (AME), accident disability coverage, a daily hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) benefit, doctor visit benefits, inpatient/outpatient surgical visit benefits, as well as emergency room and ambulance benefits. With CARExpress Plus, the Company’s health discount programs provide its members with a point of service discount on their healthcare expenses at the time of service. The Company offers three standard CARExpress Plus programs, which include CARExpress Plus Platinum Program, CARExpress Plus Gold Program and CARExpress Plus Silver Program.
The Company competes with Alliance HealthCard, Inc., AmeriPlan, Best Benefits, Careington International, Family Care, Full Access Medical, International Association of Businesses, New Benefit s, Inc. and People’s Benefit Services.
- [By Peter Graham]
Last Friday, small cap stocks National Health Partners, Inc (OTCMKTS: NHPR) surged 816.7% while Timios National Corp (OTCMKTS: HOMS) and Medical Care Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS: MDCE) sank 32.28% and 25%, respectively. So what will these three small caps do for investors and traders this week? Here is a closer look to help you decide on a trading strategy:
National Health Partners, Inc (OTCMKTS: NHPR) Surged 816.7% On Friday
Small cap National Health Partners is a national healthcare savings organization that provides discount healthcare membership programs to uninsured and underinsured people through a national healthcare savings network called “CARExpress.” On Friday, National Health Partners surged 816.7% to $0.044 for a market cap of $107,933 plus NHPR is down 78% over the past year and up 923.3% since June 2012 according to Google Finance.
5 Best Insurance Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Allstate Corp (ALL)
The Allstate Corporation (Allstate), November 5, 1992, is a holding company for Allstate Insurance Company. The Company’s business is conducted principally through Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Life Insurance Company and their affiliates. It is engaged, principally in the United States, in the property-liability insurance, life insurance, retirement and investment product business. Allstate’s primary business is the sale of private passenger auto and homeowners insurance. The Company also sells several other personal property and casualty insurance products, select commercial property and casualty coverages, life insurance, annuities, voluntary accident and health insurance and funding agreements. Allstate primarily distributes its products through exclusive agencies, financial specialists, independent agencies, call centers and the Internet. It conducts its business primarily in the United States. Allstate has four business segments: Allstate Protection, Allstate Financial, Discontinued Lines and Coverages and Corporate and Other. The Company is a personal lines insurer in the United States. Customers can access Allstate products and services, such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance through nearly 12,000 exclusive Allstate agencies and financial representatives in the United States and Canada. In October 2011, the Company acquired Esurance and Answer Financial from White Mountains Insurance Group.
ALLSTATE PROTECTION SEGMENT
In this segment, the Company principally sells private passenger auto and homeowners insurance through agencies and directly through call centers and the Internet. These products are marketed under the Allstate, Encompass and Esurance brand names. The Allstate Protection segment also includes a separate organization called Emerging Businesses, which comprises Business Insurance (commercial products for small business owners), Consumer Household (specialty products including moto rcycle, boat, renters and condominium insurance policies), A! llstate Dealer Services (insurance and non-insurance products sold primarily to auto dealers), Allstate Roadside Services (retail and wholesale roadside assistance products) and Ivantage (insurance agency). The Company also participates in the involuntary or shared private passenger auto insurance business in order to maintain its licenses to do business in many states. In some states, Allstate exclusive agencies offer non-proprietary property insurance products. Allstate brand auto and homeowners insurance products are sold primarily through Allstate exclusive agencies and serve customers who prefer local personal advice and service and are brand-sensitive. In most states, customers can also purchase certain Allstate brand personal insurance products, and obtain service, directly through call centers and the Internet.
During the year ended December 31, 2011, total Allstate Protection premiums written were $25.98 billion. Its broad-based network of approximately 10,000 Allstate exclusive agencies in approximately 9,700 locations in the United States produced approximately 86% of the Allstate Protection segment’s written premiums in 2011. It provides personal property and casualty insurance products through independent agencies in the United States. Additionally, Allstate distribution, through brokering arrangements, offers non-proprietary products to consumers when an Allstate product is not available.
ALLSTATE FINANCIAL SEGMENT
Allstate Financial segment provides life insurance, retirement and investment products, and voluntary accident and health insurance products. Its principal products are interest-sensitive, traditional and variable life insurance; fixed annuities, including deferred and immediate; and voluntary accident and health insurance. Its institutional products consist of funding agreements sold to unaffiliated trusts that use them to back medium-term notes issued to institutional and individ ual investors. Banking products and services were offered to! customer! s through the Allstate Bank through September 2011. In 2011, after receiving regulatory approval to voluntarily dissolve, Allstate Bank ceased operations.
The Company sells Allstate Financial products to individuals through multiple intermediary distribution channels, including Allstate exclusive agencies and exclusive financial specialists, independent agents, specialized structured settlement brokers and directly through call centers and the Internet. The Company sells products through independent agents affiliated with approximately 125 master brokerage agencies. Independent workplace enrolling agents and Allstate exclusive agencies also sell its voluntary accident and health insurance products primarily to employees of unaffiliated businesses. Its mortgage loan portfolio, which is primarily held in the Allstate Financial portfolio, totaled $7.14 billion as of December 31, 2011
Allstate Financial, through several companies, is authorized to sell life insurance and retirement products in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States, Virgin Islands and Guam. Allstate Financial distributes its products to individuals through multiple distribution channels, including Allstate exclusive agencies and exclusive financial specialists, independent agents (including master brokerage agencies and workplace enrolling agents), specialized structured settlement brokers and directly through call centers and the Internet.
OTHER BUSINESS SEGMENTS
The Company’s Corporate and Other segment consistsof holding company activities and certain non-insurance operations. It’s Discontinued Lines and Coverages segment includes results from insurance coverage that it no longer writes and results for certain commercial and other businesses in run-off. Its exposure to asbestos, environmental and other discontinued lines claims is presented in the segment. The segment also includes the hist orical results of the commercial and reinsurance businesses ! sold in 1! 996.
- [By Dividends4Life]
Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Avg. High Yield Price 2. 20-Year DCF Price 3. Avg. P/E Price 4. Graham Number CINF is trading at a discount to only 3.) above. The stock is trading at a 36.8% premium to its calculated fair value of $34.96. CINF did not earn any Stars in this section. Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Free Cash Flow Payout 2. Debt To Total Capital 3. Key Metrics 4. Dividend Growth Rate 5. Years of Div. Growth 6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% CINF earned two Stars in this section for 1.) and 2.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1954 and has increased its dividend payments for 54 consecutive years. Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. NPV MMA Diff. 2. Years to > MMA The NPV MMA Diff. of the $62 is below the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as CINF has. If CINF grows its dividend at 1.2% per year, it will take 5 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.68%. Memberships and Peers: CINF is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Divid
- [By John Kell]
Allstate Corp.(ALL) said its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, boosted in part by rising insurance policies in several units and fewer catastrophes.
- [By Wallace Witkowski]
Insurers such as Aflac Inc. (AFL) , Allstate Corp. (ALL) , Aetna Inc. (AET) , Cigna Corp. (CI) and Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) will also report, along with exchange operators Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) and CME Group Inc. (CME) .
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected: Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR), Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE: GSK), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Economic Releases Expected: German trade balance, Italian unemployment, eurozone retail sales, eurozone unemployment rate, Irish retail sales, US crude oil inventories, US FOMC minutes, Chinese CPI, Chinese PPI