Top Healthcare Technology Stocks To Watch For 2014

Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. (NYSE: QIHU) on Monday morning reported adjusted earnings per American Depositary Share (ADS) of $0.40 on revenues of $151. 67 million for its second fiscal quarter ended on June 30. The numbers are well above consensus estimates.

Over the past 12 months, shares of Qihoo 360 are up more than 200%, compared with gains of about 46% at Sina Corp. (NASDAQ: SINA) and about 20% at Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), two other booming Chinese Internet players.

These companies do not exactly compete head-to-head in the vast Chinese market. Baidu is primarily a search provider, and Sina’s Weibo is the country’s answer to Twitter. Sina is also the country’s leading Web portal. Qihoo 360, in addition to taking a serious run at Baidu’s search business, offers a browser and Web security tools. All three depend on advertising for the largest of their revenues.

Qihoo 360, Sina and Baidu easily topped analysts estimates for second-quarter earnings and revenue, and Qihoo 360 this morning issued an outlook that estimates revenue at $181 million to $183 million in the third quarter, while the consensus estimate is around $163 million.

Top Healthcare Technology Stocks To Watch For 2014: Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (BSV)

Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (the Fund) seeks to track the performance of a market-weighted bond index with a short-term, dollar-weighted average maturity. The Fund employs a passive management or indexing strategy designed to track the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. 1-5 Year Government/Credit Bond Index (the Index). The Index includes all medium and larger issues of the United States Government, investment-grade corporate, and investment-grade international dollar-denominated bonds that have maturities of between 1 and 5 years and are publicly issued. The Fund invests by sampling the Index, meaning that it holds a range of securities that, in the aggregate, approximates the full Index in terms of key risk factors and other characteristics. All of the Fund’s investments will be selected through the sampling process, and at least 80% of its assets will be invested in bonds held in the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is The Vanguard Group, Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By GURUFOCUS]

    In addition to individual stocks several funds pay a monthly dividend. Below is a sampling of these:
    Monthly Bond Funds- iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Credit Bond (CSJ) | Yield: 1.29%
    – Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (BSV) | Yield: 1.25%
    – Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond ETF (BIV) | Yield: 2.96%
    – Vanguard Long-Term Bond ETF (BLV) | Yield: 4.42%

Top Healthcare Technology Stocks To Watch For 2014: Aviat Networks Inc.(AVNW)

Aviat Networks, Inc. engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of a range of wireless networking products, solutions, and services worldwide. It offers point-to-point and point-to-multipoint digital microwave transmission systems for first/last mile access, middle mile/backhaul, and long distance trunking applications. The company?s products include broadband wireless access base stations and customer premises equipment for fixed and mobile; point-to-point digital microwave radio systems for access, backhaul, trunking, and license-exempt applications; and supporting network deployments, network expansion, and capacity upgrades. It also provides network management software solutions to enable operators to deploy, monitor, and manage its systems, as well as third party equipment, such as antennas, routers, and multiplexers to build and deploy a wireless transmission network and a suite of turnkey support services. In addition, the company offers professional services, su ch as network planning and design, site surveys and builds, systems integration, installation, maintenance, network monitoring, training, and customer services. It serves mobile and fixed communications service providers, original equipment manufacturers, private network operators, government agencies, transportation and utility companies, system integrators, public safety agencies, and broadcast system operators, as well as pipeline, railroad, and other industrial enterprises that operate wireless networks. The company was formerly known as Harris Stratex Networks, Inc. and changed its name to Aviat Networks, Inc. in January 2010. Aviat Networks, Inc. is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell]

    Aviat Networks Inc.(AVNW) cut its fiscal second-quarter revenue forecast, citing lower-than-expected customer orders in Africa. The microwave networking company said it is working on a plan to lower expenses, with cost savings expected to come in part from consolidating Aviat’s supply chain and locations. Shares dropped 1.4% to $2.20 premarket.

Top Healthcare Technology Stocks To Watch For 2014: Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp (KOG)

Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. (Kodiak) is an independent energy company focused on the exploration, exploitation, acquisition and production of crude oil and natural gas in the United States. Kodiak has developed an oil and natural gas asset base of proved reserves, as well as a portfolio of development and exploratory drilling opportunities on high-potential prospects with an emphasis on oil resource plays. The Company’s oil and natural gas reserves and operations are primarily concentrated in the Williston Basin of North Dakota. As of January 31, 2012, it had approximately 169,000 net acres under lease, including 157,000 net acres in the Bakken oil play in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana. In January 2012, the Company acquired Williston Basin oil and gas producing properties and undeveloped leasehold. On January 10, 2012, it acquired certain oil and gas leaseholds, overriding royalty interests and producing properties located in North Dakota. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By gurujx]

    Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. (KOG): CFO, Secretary and Treasurer James P. Henderson Sold 100,000 Shares

    CFO, Secretary and Treasurer James P. Henderson sold 100,000 shares of KOG stock on 12/27/2013 at the average price of $11.25. James P. Henderson owns at least 364,780 shares after this. The price of the stock has decreased by 5.6% since.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Big Earnings Movers: First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) is up 17.4% at $59.07 after crushing estimates after-hours on Thursday. American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) is down 6.5% at $48.28 after an earnings decline. Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: KOG) is down 4.9% at $12.38. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is down 1.6% at $118.03 after reporting disappointing results.

  • [By Heather Ingrassia]

    On Friday, October 18, Hedge fund manager John Paulson noted that Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG) could be seen as a potential takeover target, and as direct a result of his comments shares closed the day almost 5% higher. In the wake of Mr. Paulson’s belief that the company is a potential takeover target, I wanted to highlight a number of key catalysts behind my decision to remain bullish on shares of this particular oil and gas play.

Top Healthcare Technology Stocks To Watch For 2014: C&J Energy Services Inc (CJES)

C&J Energy Services, Inc., incorporated on December 15, 2010, is a provider of hydraulic fracturing, coiled tubing, wireline and other complementary services with a focus on complex, technically demanding well completions. The Company also manufactures and repairs equipment to fulfill its internal needs and for third-party companies in the energy services industry. The Company operates in three reportable segments: Stimulation and Well Intervention Services, Wireline Services and Equipment Manufacturing

The Company provides hydraulic fracturing coiled tubing and related well intervention services through its Stimulation and Well Intervention Services segment to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies. On June 7, 2012, the Company acquired Casedhole Holdings, Inc. and its operating subsidiaries, including Casedhole Solutions, Inc.

Stimulation and Well Intervention Services

The Company’s Stimulation and Well In tervention Services segment provides hydraulic fracturing and coiled tubing and other well intervention services, with a focus on complex, technically demanding well completions. The Company’s customers use the Company’s hydraulic fracturing services to enhance the production of oil and natural gas from formations with low permeability, which restricts the natural flow of hydrocarbons. Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping a fluid down a well casing or tubing at sufficient pressure to cause the underground producing formation to fracture, allowing the oil or natural gas to flow more freely. The Company’s engineering staff also provides technical evaluation, job design and fluid recommendations for the Company’s customers as an integral element of its fracturing service. The Company’s engineering staff also provides technical evaluation, job design and fluid recommendations for the Company’s customers as an integral element of its fracturing service.

Wireline Ser vices

The Company’s Wireline Services segment p! rovides cased-hole wireline and other complementary services. Its services includes logging, perforating, pipe recovery, pressure testing and pumpdown services, which are critical throughout a well’s life cycle.

Equipment Manufacturing

The Company’s Equipment Manufacturing segment constructs oilfield equipment, including hydraulic fracturing pumps, coiled tubing units, pressure pumping units and other equipment for the Company’s Stimulation and Well Intervention Services and Wireline Services segments as well as for third-party customers in the energy services industry. This segment also provides equipment repair services and oilfield parts and supplies to the energy services industry and to meet the Company’s own internal needs.

The Company competes with Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford International, RPC, Inc., Pumpco, an affiliate of Superior Energy Services, Frac Tech, Stewart & Stevenson, Enerflow Industries Inc ., United Engines Manufacturing, Dragon Products and National Oilwell Varco, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    C&J Energy Services Inc. (NYSE: CJES) undertook an aggressive expansion plan for 2013. That strategy culminated in several deals during the fourth quarter and further plans for 2014. The domestic hydraulic fracturing specialist has spent the past couple of years expanding the business line and, surprisingly, building new equipment. Now with natural gas inventories plunging to five-year lows, C&J Energy is positioned to take advantage of a market where utilization is already firming. Jefferies price target holds steady at $28, and the consensus estimate is $25. Shares closed Friday at $24.50.

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    For investors, the choice is clear — you need to focus globally when it comes to oil stocks. North American-focused oil stocks like C&J Energy (CJES) and Basic Energy Services (BAS) might not be up to snuff in such a highly challenging pricing environment.

Top Healthcare Technology Stocks To Watch For 2014: Natus Medical Incorporated(BABY)

Natus Medical Incorporated provides neurodiagnostic and newborn care products worldwide. The company offers healthcare products used for the screening, detection, treatment, monitoring, and tracking of common medical ailments in newborn care, hearing impairment, neurological dysfunction, epilepsy, sleep disorders, and balance and mobility disorders. Its product offerings include neurodiagnostic systems for audiology, neurology, polysomnography, and neonatology; newborn care products, such as hearing screening systems, phototherapy devices for the treatment of newborn jaundice, head-cooling products for the treatment of brain injury in newborns, and incubators to control the newborn?s environment; and software systems for managing and tracking disorders and diseases. The company provides newborn hearing screening product lines consisting of the ALGO, ABaer, AuDX, and Echo-Screen newborn hearing screeners; and hearing screening supply products that are used with newborn hea ring screening devices. It also offers diagnostic hearing assessment product lines, which include the Navigator Pro system, the Scout sport portable diagnostic device, and the AuDX PRO; and diagnostic hearing supply products. In addition, the company provides monitoring systems, balance and mobility products, newborn brain injury diagnostic products, thermoregulation products, and jaundice management products. Further, it offers photometers, radiometers, patient warming lamps, neonatal heatshields, pediatric scales, blanket warming cabinets, exam lights, oxygen hoods, restraining boards, and newborn circumstraints; neonatal noise attenuators, phototherapy eye masks, and x-ray shields for reproductive organs; and newborn screening data management products. The company serves hospitals, clinics, laboratories, physicians, nurses, audiologists, and governmental agencies. Natus Medical Incorporated was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in San Carlos, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of Natus Medical (NASDAQ: BABY  ) , a neurodiagnostic and medical device company specializing in newborn and infant care, sank as much as 15% after the company announced disappointing preliminary revenue figures for the second quarter.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    We could always blame Europe for the shortfall; I mean everyone else is doing it, right? Just yesterday, niche diagnostic and device maker for infants and newborns Natus Medical (NASDAQ: BABY  ) warned that its revenue would be short of the Street’s estimates because of tepid European demand for its products. Even having products with little competition in a niche category (infants and newborns) wasn’t enough to save Natus Medical; could that be the reason Intuitive is faltering?

Top Healthcare Technology Stocks To Watch For 2014: Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc (SUPN)

Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Supernus), incorporated on March 30, 2005, is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products for the treatment of central nervous system diseases, including neurological and psychiatric disorders. Supernus is developing several product candidates in neurology and psychiatry to address opportunities in epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Supernus’s two epilepsy product candidates are SPN-538 and Epliga. Epliga is in Phase III clinical trials. Supernus ADHD product candidates include SPN-810 (molindone hydrochloride), a treatment for impulsive aggression in patients with ADHD, and SPN-812, a non-stimulant treatment for ADHD. Both of these programs are in Phase II. In addition to these four products candidates, Supernus has several additional product candidates in various stages of development, including SPN-809. Its wholly owned subsidiary includes TCD Royalty Sub LLC.

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Supernus’s Late-Stage Neurology Portfolio

SPN-538 is an oral once-daily extended release topiramate product for the treatment of epilepsy. Topiramate is marketed by Johnson & Johnson under the brand name Topamax and is available in a generic form. As of December 31, 2009, Topiramate was available only in immediate release form and is indicated for monotherapy and adjunctive therapy of epilepsy and for the treatment of migraine. It works by enhancing the inhibitory effect of the Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) neurotransmitter that regulates neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system, blocking the excitatory effect of the glutamate neurotransmitter, blocking the sodium channel and inhibiting the carbonic anhydrase enzyme.

Epliga is an oral once-daily extended release formulation of oxcarbazepine. As of December 31, 2009, Epliga was in Phase III trials. Oxcarbazepine is marketed by Novartis under the brand name Trileptal and is availa ble in a generic form. Trileptal is indicated for monotherap! y and adjunctive therapy of epilepsy. Oxcarbazepine is an active voltage-dependent sodium channel blocker.

Supernus’s Psychiatry Portfolio

SPN-810 (molindone hydrochloride) is a treatment for impulsive aggression in patients with ADHD. As of December 31, 2009, it was in Phase II. SPN-810 is based on molindone hydrochloride. As of December 31, 2009, the Company had completed four clinical trials for SPN-810, including a Phase IIa trial, in which it tested the safety and tolerability of immediate release molindone hydrochloride in children with ADHD who suffer from serious persistent conduct problems. This open-label, dose-ranging trial randomized 78 children, 6-12 years of age, into one of four treatment groups, which were given four different doses of immediate release molindone hydrochloride, between 10 milligram and 40 milligram per day, depending on weight, three times a day over a six-week treatment period, after 2-5 weeks of titration. SPN- 810 was well tolerated in the trial with no clinically meaningful changes in standard hematology, clinical chemistry values, vital signs or electrocardiogram results. SPN-810 also showed improvements on the primary and secondary outcome measures, such as conduct problem and ADHD scales, across all four treatment groups. SPN-812 is a non-stimulant treatment for ADHD. As of December 31, 2009, SPN-812 was in Phase II. SPN-812 is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.

Supernus’s Technology Platforms

The Company has a long track record of developing products by applying technologies to known drugs to improve existing therapies and to enable the treatment of new indications. Supernus’s main technology platforms include: Microtrol (multiparticulate delivery platform), Solutrol (matrix delivery platform) and EnSoTrol (osmotic delivery system). The Company’s technologies have been used in the approved and marketed products, including Carbatrol (carbamazepine), Equetro (carbamazepine), Adderall XR (mixe! d ampheta! mine salts), Sanctura XR (trospium chloride), Oracea (doxycycline) and Intuniv (guanfacine).

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Supernus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SUPN) is expected to post a Q4 loss at $0.55 per share on revenue of $7.78 million.

    Geron (NASDAQ: GERN) is projected to post a Q4 loss at $0.07 per share on revenue of $350.00 thousand.

  • [By Sara Sjolin]

    Shares of Supernus Pharmaceuticals (SUPN)  could also be active, after the company jumped 20% after-hours on Monday after a drug on which the firm collaborated received Food and Drug Administration approval.

Top Healthcare Technology Stocks To Watch For 2014: Wajax Corp (WJX)

Wajax Corporation (Wajax), is engaged in the sale and after-sales parts and service support of equipment, power systems and industrial components. Wajax’s three business divisions include equipment,power systems and industrial components. Its equipment division is engaged in the distribution, rental, modification and servicing of mobile equipment from manufacturers. It Power Systems is engaged in the distribution, rental and servicing of engines, transmissions and generators for on-highway, off-highway and electric power generation applications. Industrial components is engaged in the distribution, servicing, custom design and assembly of industrial components for in-plant customers and original equipment manufacturers. The Company’s products include excavators, lift trucks, mining trucks and shovels, forest harvesting equipment, utility equipment, loader backhoes, container handlers, cranes, diesel and natural gas engines, transmissions and power generators and bearings. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Heinzl]

    For example, BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst Bert Powell recently raised his price target on Wajax (WJX) to $41.50 from $35.50 because, as he explained in a note, he believes the company is poised for a recovery. The new target reflects his expectation that the stock will trade at 11 times his 2015 earnings per share estimate of $3.77—its average P/E multiple historically.

Top Healthcare Technology Stocks To Watch For 2014: Markel Corp (MKL)

Markel Corporation is a financial holding company serving a range of markets. The Company markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. The Company operates in three segments: the Excess and Surplus Lines, the Specialty Admitted, and the London markets. It also owns interests in industrial and service businesses, which operate outside of the specialty insurance marketplace. On January 1, 2012, the Company acquired Thompson Insurance Enterprises, LLC (THOMCO). On July 13, 2011, the Company acquired PartnerMD, LLC. On October 19, 2011, the Company acquired an 83% interest in WI Holdings Inc. (Weldship). In April 2012, its subsidiary, Markel Ventures, acquired a majority interest in Havco WP LLC. In July 2012, Markel Corporation announced that Ellicott Dredge Enterprises, LLC, through its subsidiary Rohr International Dredge Holdings, Inc., acquired IDRECO GmbH. In January 2013, OneBeacon Insurance Group Ltd sold Essentia Insurance Company to the Company. In May 2013, it announced that it has completed its acquisition of Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd.

Excess and Surplus Lines Segment

Business in the Excess and Surplus Lines segment is written through two distribution channels, professional surplus lines general agents who have limited quoting and binding authority and wholesale brokers. The business produced by this segment is written on a surplus lines basis through either Essex Insurance Company or Evanston Insurance Company. During the year ended December 31, 2011, in the Excess and Surplus Lines segment, it wrote business through regional underwriting offices, which include Markel Northeast (Red Bank, NJ), Markel Southeast (Glen Allen, VA), Markel Midwest (Deerfield, IL), Markel Mid South (Plano, TX) and Markel West (Woodland Hills, CA and Scottsdale, AZ). Product offerings within the Excess and Surplus Lines segment fall within the product groupings, which include Property and Casualty, Professional Liabili ty, and Other Product Lines. Property coverages consist of f! ire, allied lines (including windstorm, hail and water damage) and other specialized property coverages, including catastrophe-exposed property risks, such as earthquake and wind on both a primary and excess basis. Its property risks range from small, single-location accounts to multi-state, multi-location accounts. Casualty product offerings include a range of liability coverages targeting apartments and office buildings, retail stores, contractors and recreational and hospitality businesses. It also offers products liability coverages on either an occurrence or claims-made basis to manufacturers, distributors, importers and re-packagers of manufactured products.

Professional liability coverages include solutions for specialized professions, including architects and engineers, lawyers, agents and brokers, service technicians and computer consultants. It offers claims-made medical malpractice coverage for doctors, dentists and podiatrists; claims-made profession al liability coverage to individual healthcare providers, such as therapists, pharmacists, physician assistants and nurse anesthetists, and coverages for medical facilities and other allied healthcare risks, such as clinics, laboratories, medical spas, home health agencies, small hospitals, pharmacies and nursing homes. This product line also includes for-profit and not-for profit management liability coverage, which can be bundled or written mono-line and include employment practices liability, directors’ and officers’ liability and fiduciary liability coverages. In addition, it offers a data privacy and security product, which provides coverage for data breach and privacy liability, data breach loss to insureds and electronic media coverage.

Other product lines within the Excess and Surplus Lines segment include excess and umbrella products, which provide coverage over approved underlying insurance carriers on either an occurrence or claims-made basis; env ironmental products, which include environmental consultants! ’ profe! ssional liability, contractors’ pollution liability and site-specific environmental impairment liability coverages; transportation-related products, which provide auto physical damage coverage for automobiles, as well as all types of specialty commercial vehicles, dealers’ open lot and garagekeeper legal liability coverages, vehicular liability and physical damage coverages for local and intermediate haul commercial trucks and liability coverage to operators of small to medium-sized owned and operated taxicab fleets, non-emergency ambulances and multi-line specialty products designed for the characteristics of the garage industry; inland marine products, which provide a range of specialty coverages for risks, such as motor truck cargo coverage for damage to third party cargo while in transit, warehouseman’s legal liability coverage for damage to third party goods in storage, contractors’ equipment coverage for first party property damage and builder’s risk coverage ; ocean marine products, which provide general liability, professional liability, property and cargo coverages for marine artisan contractors, boat dealers and marina owners, including hull physical damage, protection and indemnity and third party property coverages for ocean cargo; casualty facultative reinsurance written for individual casualty risks focusing on general liability, products liability, automobile liability and certain classes of professional liability and targeting classes, which include general liability risks; railroad-related products, which provide first and third party coverages for short-line and regional railroads, scenic and tourist railroads, commuter and light rail trains and railroad equipment, and public entity insurance and reinsurance programs, which provide coverage for government entities including counties, municipalities, schools and community colleges.

Specialty Admitted Segment

The business in the Specialty Admit ted segment is written by retail insurance agents who have v! ery limit! ed underwriting authority. Products and programs are marketed directly to consumers or distributed through wholesale producers. Personal lines coverages included in this segment are marketed directly to the consumer using direct mail, Internet and telephone promotions, as well as relationships with various motorcycle and boat manufacturers, dealers and associations. The business produced by this segment is written on an admitted basis either through Markel Insurance Company (MIC), Markel American Insurance Company (MAIC) and FirstComp Insurance Company (FCIC).

The Markel Specialty unit focuses on providing total insurance programs for businesses engaged in specialized activities. The Markel Specialty unit is organized into product areas, which concentrate on particular markets and customer groups, including youth and recreation oriented organizations, social service organizations, amateur sports organizations and horse and farm operations. The Markel American S pecialty Personal and Commercial Lines unit offers its insurance products focuses its underwriting on marine, recreational vehicle, property and other personal and commercial line coverages. The FirstComp unit provides workers’ compensation insurance and related services, to small businesses. The FirstComp unit distributes its products through independent insurance agencies.

Product offerings within the Specialty Admitted segment fall within product groupings, which include Workers’ Compensation, Property and Casualty, Personal Lines, Accident and Health, and Other Product Lines. Workers’ compensation products provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment and target main-street, service and artisan contractor businesses, retail stores and restaurants. Property and casualty products included in this segment are offered on a monoline or package basis and target commercial markets and customer groups. Targeted groups include youth and recreation oriented organizations,! social s! ervice organizations, museums and historic homes, performing arts organizations, bed and breakfast inns, outfitters and guides, hunting and fishing lodges, dude ranches and rod and gun clubs. Personal lines products provide first and third party coverages for a range of personal watercrafts, including older boats, boats and yachts, as well as for recreational vehicles, including motorcycles, snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles (ATVs). In addition, property coverages are offered for mobile homes, dwellings and homeowners that do not qualify for standard homeowner’s coverage. Other products offered include special event protection, supplemental natural disaster coverage, renters’ protection coverage, excess flood coverage and collector vehicle coverage. Accident and health products offer liability and accident insurance for amateur sports organizations, accident and medical insurance for academic institutions, monoline accident and medical coverage for various markets, sh ort-term medical insurance, pet health insurance, stop-loss insurance for self-insured medical plans and medical excess reinsurance coverage.

Other product lines within the Specialty Admitted segment include coverages for equine-related risks, such as horse mortality, theft, infertility, transit and specified perils, as well as property and liability coverages for farms and boarding, breeding and training facilities; first and third party coverages for auto repair garages, gas stations and convenience stores and used car dealers; general agent programs, which use managing general agents to offer single source admitted and non-admitted programs for a specific class or line of business; first and third party coverages for small fishing ventures, charters, utility boats and boat rentals, and professional liability coverages, which it designs and administers on behalf of other insurance carriers and ultimately assume on a reinsurance basis.

London Insur ance Market Segment

This segment is consisted o! f Markel ! International. Markel International writes specialty property, casualty, professional liability, equine, marine, energy and trade credit insurance on a direct and reinsurance basis. Business is written worldwide through either Markel International Insurance Company Limited (MIICL) or Markel Syndicate 3000 with approximately 15% of writings coming from the United States. Product offerings within the London Insurance Market segment fall within the product groupings, which include Marine and Energy, Professional and General Liability, Reinsurance, Property, and Other Product Lines.

Marine and energy products include a portfolio of coverages for cargo, energy, hull, liability, war, terrorism and specie risks. The cargo account is an international transit-based book covering a range of cargo. Energy coverage includes all aspects of oil and gas activities. The hull account covers physical damage to ocean-going tonnage, yachts and mortgagee’s interest. Liability cove rage provides for a range of energy liabilities, as well as marine exposures, including charterers, terminal operators and ship repairers. The war account covers the hulls of ships and aircraft, and other related interests, against war and associated perils. Terrorism coverage provides for property damage and business interruption related to political violence, including war and civil war. The specie account includes coverage for fine art on exhibition and in private collections, securities, bullion, precious metals, cash in transit and jewelry.

Professional and general liability products include professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’ liability, intellectual property, some defense costs, incidental commercial crime, general and products liability coverages targeting consultants, construction professionals, financial service professionals, professional practices, social welfare organizations and medical products. Professional and general liability p roducts are written on a global basis. Reinsurance products ! include p! roperty and casualty treaty reinsurance. Property treaty products are offered on an excess of loss and proportional basis for per risk and catastrophe exposures. A portion of the excess of loss catastrophe and per risk property treaty business comes from the United States with the remainder coming from international property treaties. Casualty treaty reinsurance is offered on an excess of loss basis and targets specialist writers of motor products in the United Kingdom and Europe. Excess of loss casualty treaty reinsurance also is offered for select writers of employers’ and products liability coverages.

Property products target a range of insureds, providing coverage ranging from fire to catastrophe perils, such as earthquake and windstorm. Business is written either in the open market or on a delegated authority basis for direct and facultative risks. Open market business is written mainly on a global basis by its underwriters to London brokers, with each ri sk being considered on its own merits. The Company provides property coverage for small to medium-sized commercial risks on both a stand-alone and package basis through its branch offices. Other product lines within the London Insurance Market segment include crime coverage targeting financial institutions and providing protection for bankers’ blanket bond, computer crime and commercial fidelity; contingency coverage, including event cancellation, non-appearance and prize indemnity; accident and health coverage for affinity groups and schemes, risks accounts and sports groups; coverage for equine-related risks, such as horse mortality, theft, infertility, transit and specified perils; specialty coverages include mortality risks for farms, zoos, animal theme parks and safari parks; short-term trade credit coverage for commercial risks, including insolvency and protracted default, as well as political risks coverage in conjunction with commercial risks for currency inconvert ibility, government action, import/export license cancellati! on, publi! c buyer default and war, and products liability, excess and umbrella and environmental liability coverages.

The Company purchases reinsurance. It purchases catastrophe reinsurance coverage for its catastrophe-exposed policies. In addition, certain foreign reinsurers for its United States insurance operations must provide collateral equal to 100% of recoverable, with the exception of reinsurers who have been granted authorized status by an insurance company’s state of domicile. When appropriate, it pursues reinsurance commutations, which involve the termination of ceded reinsurance contracts. Reinsurance treaties are purchased on an annual basis.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brendan Mathews]

    It’s a great idea to get children interested in investing early, and buying some stocks for them is a great way to accomplish that. I’d recommend using a very long-term buy-and-hold strategy focused on high-quality, sustainable businesses. I’d forgo dividends and focus on long-term appreciation (just my personal opinion). Stocks that I’d recommend for this strategy include Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) , Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B  ) , CarMax (NYSE: KMX  ) , and Markel (NYSE: MKL  ) . All are great companies that I’d be happy to hold for a decade.

  • [By Matt Koppenheffer]

    There are also some companies that strive to make their filings easy to follow and have an obvious desire to make sure investors understand their business. Specialty insurer Markel  (NYSE: MKL  ) is a superb example of that. While I wouldn’t say that an insurance newbie will sail through Markel’s filings, the writing and explanations are about as accessible as one could hope for from a fairly complex business.

  • [By Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson]

    In this segment of The Motley Fool’s financials-focused show, Where the Money Is, banking analysts David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer rank insurance stocks. The stocks ranked include: Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) , Markel (NYSE: MKL  ) , AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) , and Aflac (NYSE: AFL  ) . Berkshire Hathaway may be No.1 in the guy’s hearts, but it is it also the top pick in their rankings?

  • [By John Reeves]

    Author and investor William Thorndike recently wrote a book looking at eight CEOs who outdid the S&P 500. In this video, John Reeves looks at what distinguished these CEOs. One characteristic: decentralized operations. CEOs like Warren Buffett allow managers to do their jobs without micro-managing them. These top CEOs also are frugal and don’t spend a lot on themselves. They also tend to be skeptical and avoid the limelight. Perhaps, most importantly, exceptional CEOs don’t follow the crowd. They make their own decisions without influence from Wall Street.  Some companies that Thorndike recommends are Leucadia National  (NYSE: LUK  ) and Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL  ) . Thorndike also likes Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) as a great example of a company doing its own thing and with a healthy disregard for Wall Street experts.