Top 5 Insurance Stocks For 2014

With shares of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) trading around $875, is GOOG an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Google is a global technology company focused on improving the ways people engage with information. The business is focused on the following areas: search, advertising, operating systems and platforms, and enterprise. The company generates revenue primarily by delivering online advertising. Google is a search giant with most of the market share, largely because of its execution and delivery. An increasing number of consumers and companies worldwide are coming online, which will surely increase the amount of eyes on the company’s ads and in turn, advertising revenue. At this rate, look for Google to remain on top of the Internet world.

According to Forbes, Google made a change to its search algorithm about a month ago, but purposely did not announce it until one day before the celebration of its 15th anniversary. The change involves an update to Google’s core search algorithm, now code-named Hummingbird, and it allows users to obtain more relevant and useful search results by making its search engine serve longer, more complex questions. It is believed that the change comes from the fact that more and more consumers are now flocking to smartphones and beginning to use those devices to speak directly into the search engines. Since that sometimes translates into longer, more convoluted inquiries, Google responded with a new mathematical formula to handle the increased complexity.

Top 5 Insurance Stocks For 2014: Universal American Corp (UAM)

Universal American Corp., incorporated on December 22, 2010, through its health insurance and managed care subsidiaries, primarily serves the growing Medicare population by providing Medicare Advantage products. It provides a variety of healthcare services, including case management and care coordination, clinical quality and utilization review and behavioral health services to Medicaid agencies and other third parties. The Company’s business segments include Senior Managed Care, which provides Medicare Advantage segment reflects its Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS businesses, and Traditional Insurance segment reflects its insurance products not offered through government programs, which includes Medicare supplement, other senior health insurance, specialty health insurance and life insurance. The Company provides medical management services, information and analysis, and other support services to enable its health care partners to serve their patients better.

In addition , it seeks an opportunity to address the high cost of health care for the remaining 75% of the Medicare population enrolled in traditional fee-for-service Medicare and have joined primarily with primary-care and multi-specialty provider groups to form thirty-one Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, pursuant to the Medicare Shared Saving Program, or Shared Savings Program.

On March 2, 2012, the Company acquired APS Healthcare, Inc., known as APS Healthcare. APS Healthcare provides specialty healthcare solutions primarily to Medicaid agencies. APS Healthcare offers a broad range of healthcare solutions, including case management and care coordination, clinical quality and utilization review, and behavioral health services that enable its customers to improve the quality of care and reduce healthcare costs.

Senior Managed Care – Medicare Advantage

The Company’s Senior Managed CareMedicare Advantage segment reflects its Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS bu! sinesses.. During the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company operated Medicare coordinated care plans including PPOs and HMOs as well as its network-based private fee-for-service (PFFS) and rural PFFS business, which provides coverage to Medicare beneficiaries in 36 states. These businesses provide managed care for persons with Medicare under contracts with CMS. Its HMO plans are offered under contracts with CMS and provide all basic Medicare covered benefits with reduced member cost-sharing as well as additional supplemental benefits, including a defined prescription drug benefit. It operates HMO plans are offered under contracts with CMS and provide all basic Medicare covered benefits with reduced member cost-sharing as well as additional supplemental benefits, including a defined prescription drug benefit. It also has Medicare Advantage HMO operations in locations outside of Southeastern Texas including four counties in North Texas offering TexasFirst Health Plans thro ugh SelectCare Health Plans; nine counties in Oklahoma City offering Generations Healthcare through Today’s Options of Oklahoma, Inc; and three counties in Indianapolis, Indiana offering Today’s Options HMO through SelectCare Health Plans.

The Company’s PPO plans are provided under the name Today’s Options PPO, which offered under contracts with CMS and provide all basic Medicare covered benefits with reduced member cost-sharing as well as additional supplemental benefits, including a defined prescription drug benefit. This coordinated care product is built around contracted networks of providers who, in cooperation with the health plan, coordinate an active medical management program. In 2012, the Company offered PPO plans to 41 markets in 120 counties in 17 states.

The Company’s PFFS plans are provided under the name Today’s Options, which offered under contracts with CMS and provide enhanced health care benefits compared to traditional Medic are, subject to cost sharing and other limitations. These pl! ans have l! imited provider network restrictions, which allow the members to have more flexibility in the delivery of their health care services than other Medicare Advantage plans with limited provider network restrictions. Some of these products include a defined prescription drug benefit. In addition to a fixed monthly payment per member from CMS, individuals in these plans may be required to pay a monthly premium in selected counties or for selected enhanced products. In 2012, it offered PFFS products in a total of 36 states, which included PFFS products with network restrictions to 51 markets in 280 counties in 18 states and PFFS products without network restrictions to 1,052 counties in 32 states.

Traditional Insurance

The Company’s traditional insurance segment reflects the results of its Medicare supplement, other senior health insurance, specialty health insurance, and life insurance. It designed the products in this segment primarily for the senio r market and market them through its career agency force and its network of independent general agencies. The Company discontinued marketing and selling traditional insurance products after June 1, 2012. This segment also includes other products that it stopped selling several years ago, such as long-term care, medical insurance and disability insurance, as well as previously produced or acquired term, universal life, and whole life insurance products and single and flexible premium fixed annuities.

The Company competes with United Healthcare, Humana, Wellpoint, Aetna and Cigna

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Orelli]

    Health insurers such as Universal American (NYSE: UAM  ) and Humana (NYSE: HUM  ) that offer supplementary Medicare insurance could be hurt if seniors decided to drop the added coverage, but I doubt the increased premiums will put a major dent in seniors’ budgets. Retirees making more than $85,000 per year will have to pay about $250 more per year than they do right now. Any losses will be more than be made up for by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ decision this month to reverse its  previously announced cuts to reimbursement rates.

Top 5 Insurance Stocks For 2014: Unum Group(UNM)

Unum Group, together with its subsidiaries, provides group and individual disability insurance products primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. It also provides a portfolio of other insurance products, including employer-and employee-paid group benefits, life insurance, long-term care insurance, and related services. Its products include group long-term and short-term disability; group life and accidental death, and dismemberment; individual disability; group long-term care; voluntary benefits; group life; accident, sickness, and disability; and cancer and critical illness insurance products. The company also provides individual life and corporate-owned life insurance, reinsurance pools and management operations, group pension, health insurance, and individual annuities. Unum Group markets its products primarily to employers interested in providing benefits to their employees. The company sells its products through field sales personnel, independent brokers, consultants, and agency sales force. Unum Group was founded in 1848 and is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Specialty insurance provider Unum (NYSE: UNM  ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.145 per share, an 11% increase to the payout made last quarter of $0.13 per share.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Among the biggest losers in the S&P 500: Air Products and Chemicals (APD), which dropped 3.3% to $103.20 as its Bill Ackman bounce fades, Charles Schwab (SCHW), which fell 2.4% to $21.76 as it became the 165th most popular short in the S&P 500, and Unum Group (UNM), which finished off 2.3% at $29.63 after Barron’s Sandra Ward recommended investors take profits on the insurance company.

Top 5 Insurance Stocks For 2014: Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (FRFHF)

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Fairfax) is a financial services holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is principally engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and the associated investment management. The Company’s segments consist of Insurance, Reinsurance, Insurance and Reinsurance Other, Runoff, and Corporate and Other. On December 22, 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of 75% interests in Sporting Life Inc. On August 16, 2011, the Company acquired William Ashley China Corporation. On March 24, 2011, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fairfax completed the acquisition of The Pacific Insurance Berhad. On February 9, 2011, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fairfax completed the acquisition of First Mercury Financial Corporation. In October 2012, its RiverStone runoff subsidiary acquired all the outstanding shares of Brit Insurance Limited. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    BlackBerry (BBRY) has been a value trap that has ensnared more than its share of value hunting investors in recent years — yours truly included. Buying BlackBerry stock will also likely go down in history as the single-worst investing mistake in the otherwise illustrious career of Prem Watsa — the chairman of Fairfax Financial (FRFHF) and the man commonly known as the “Warren Buffett of Canada.”

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    That business model has been so successful that other, smaller insurance companies have emulated it. For instance, Fairfax Financial (NASDAQOTH: FRFHF  ) and Markel (NYSE: MKL  ) have used the same investing model to take advantage of their respective core insurance businesses. Both Fairfax and Markel have had substantial success, showing the power of using temporarily available premium reserves to make higher-return investments.

  • [By Tim Brugger]

    Citing the letter of intent to be acquired for $9 a share signed Monday with a consortium led by its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial (NASDAQOTH: FRFHF  ) , BlackBerry  (NASDAQ: BBRY  )  has opted to cancel its conference call and webcast following the 7 .a.m EST release of Q2 earnings this Friday, the company announced yesterday.

Top 5 Insurance Stocks For 2014: Euler Hermes SA (ELE)

Euler Hermes SA is a France-based credit insurance company. It offers a range of services, including loan assurance, risk assessment, trade debt collection, compensation of losses due to buyer insolvency, bonding and guarantees for companies, reinsurance of loans to individuals and fidelity insurance covering companies against financial loss caused by fraudulent acts. It operates a number of subsidiaries, including Euler Hermes SFAC, Euler Hermes ACI Holding Inc., Euler Hermes Reinsurance AG, among others. On January 1, 2012, the Company completed the simplification of its legal structure in Europe by grouping 13 of its former subsidiaries into one insurance company, Euler Hermes Europe, located in Brussels. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sarah Jones]

    Iberdrola SA (IBE), Spain’s biggest power company, fell 3.4 percent to 3.87 euros. Endesa SA (ELE) slumped 4.6 percent to 16 euros, while Acciona SA (ANA), which owns more than 4 gigawatts of wind farms in the country, tumbled 8.5 percent to 37.95 euros. Red Electrica Corp. slid 7.5 percent to 38.34 euros.

Top 5 Insurance Stocks For 2014: First American Financial Corp (FAF)

First American Financial Corporation, incorporated on January 14, 2008, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the business of providing financial services through its title insurance and services segment and its specialty insurance segment. The Company operates in two segments: title insurance and services and specialty insurance.

The title insurance and services segment provides title insurance, closing and/or escrow services and similar or related services domestically and internationally in connection with residential and commercial real estate transactions. It also maintains, manages and provides access to title plant records and images and provides banking, trust and investment advisory services. The specialty insurance segment issues property and casualty insurance policies and sells home warranty products. In addition, its corporate function consists of certain financing facilities as well as the corporate services that support its business operation s.

Title Insurance and Services Segment

The Company’s title insurance and services segment issues title insurance policies on residential and commercial property in the United States and offers similar or related products and services internationally. This segment also provides closing and/or escrow services; accommodates tax-deferred exchanges of real estate; maintains, manages and provides access to title plant records and images, and provides banking, trust and investment advisory services. The Company conducts its title insurance and closing business through a network of direct operations and agents. Through this network, it issues policies in the 49 states that permit the issuance of title insurance policies and the District of Columbia. The Company also offers title insurance, closing services and similar or related products and services, either directly or through third parties in foreign countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, A ustralia and various other markets.

The Company! distributes its title insurance policies and related products and services directly as well as through its agents through various channels. Its federal savings bank subsidiary offers trust and investment advisory services, deposit services and asset management services. As of December 31, 2012, the Company provides products and services in numerous countries outside of the United States, and its international operations accounted for approximately 7.9% of its title insurance and services segment revenues

Specialty Insurance Segment

The Company’s property and casualty insurance business provides insurance coverage to residential homeowners and renters for liability losses and typical hazards, such as fire, theft, vandalism and other types of property damage. The Company is licensed to issue policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and actively issue policies in 43 states. In its market, California, it also offers preferred risk aut o insurance to better compete with other carriers offering bundled home and auto insurance. Reinsurance is used to limit risk associated with natural disasters, such as windstorms, winter storms, wildfires and earthquakes.

The Company’s home warranty business provides residential service contracts that cover residential systems, such as heating and air conditioning systems, and certain appliances against failures that occur as the result of normal usage during the coverage period. Most of these policies are issued on resale residences, although policies are also available in some instances for new homes. Coverage is typically for one year and is renewable annually at the option of the contract holder and upon its approval. It sells renewals directly to consumers. As of December 31, 2012, home warranty business operates in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

The Company competes with Fidelity National Financial, Inc., Stewart Title Guaranty Com pany, Old Republic International Corporation and Lender Proc! essing Se! rvices, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By alicet236]

    First American Financial Corp (FAF): CEO Dennis J Gilmore sold 116,453 Shares

    CEO of First American Financial Corp (FAF) Dennis J Gilmore sold 116,453 shares on 02/04/2014 at an average price of $25.12. First American Financial Corporation was incorporated in the state of Delaware in January 2008 to serve as the holding company of The First American Corporation’s financial services business. First American Financial Corp has a market cap of $2.7 billion; its shares were traded at around $25.52 with a P/E ratio of 12.30 and P/S ratio of 0.56. The dividend yield of First American Financial Corp stocks is 1.88%.

  • [By Canadian Value]

    Position % of Fund Assets 1) First American Financial Corp. (FAF) 7.0% 2) Apple, Inc. (AAPL) 6.5% 3) Coinstar, Inc. (CSTR) 4.8% 4) EMC Corp. (EMC) 4.4% 5) Coach, Inc. (COH) 4.4% 6) Kohl’s Corp. (KSS) 4.1% 7) Blucora, Inc. (BCOR) 4.0% 8) Tetra Tech, Inc. (TTEK) 3.1% 9) OM Group, Inc. (OMG) 3.0% 10) American International Group, Inc. (AIG) 2.8% TOTAL 44.1% One area that we believe still offers some value in the market is in high quality, large‐cap technology stocks that may be momentarily out‐of‐favor as they transition from rapid growth to slower growth. In particular, we become interested when that transition is also accompanied by a change in capital allocation policies designed to return more cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases. We believe that Apple and EMC are two of the absolute highest quality technology businesses in the world and both have recently announced very material, shareholder‐ friendly changes to how they will alloc ate capital.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    First American Financial Corp. (NYSE: FAF) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.

    Fidelity National Financial Inc. (NYSE: FNF) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.