Top Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now

This could be a case of “when bad things happen to good furniture companies” but with homebuilding in a possible recovery mode, American furniture companies could also bounce back.

Here’s a look at what goes inside those new homes: new furniture. As furniture makers increase outsourcing and the U.S. manufacturing sector declines, investors must be wondering about the future of American furniture companies. Trading histories show Guru billionaires have taken years of losses, especially in the case of Furniture Brand International Inc. (FBN), but the recent insider trades at Furniture Brand may be some indication of what we can expect from Guru shareholders when their second quarter trading activity in this sector is revealed.

Here’s a look at two highlights from the manufacturing sector of furniture and apparel, with a focus on American furniture companies on a 52-week low.

Industry Sector: Manufacturing – Furniture and Apparel

This week the f urniture and apparel manufacturing sector lists 10 stocks out of 86 that are on a 52-week low. The low ratio is 0.12.

Top Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: Aon Corporation(AON)

Aon Corporation provides risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting and outsourcing services primarily in the United States, the Americas, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. The company?s Risk Solutions segment offers retail brokerage products and services, including affinity products, general underwriting management services, placement services, and captive management services; and advisory services to technology, financial services, agribusiness, aviation, construction, health care, and energy industries, as well as facilitates various risk management solutions for property liability, general liability, professional liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, workers’ compensation, and various healthcare products. This segment also provides risk consulting services comprising captive management; eSolutions products that enable clients to manage risks, policies, claims, and safet y concerns through an integrated technology platform; reinsurance brokerage services, such as actuarial, enterprise risk management, catastrophe management, and rating agency advisory services; property and casualty reinsurance; and specialty lines, which include professional liability, medical malpractice, accident, life, and health, as well as capital management transaction and advisory services. Its HR Solutions segment offers human capital services in the areas of health and benefits, retirement, compensation, and strategic human capital; and benefits administration and human resource business process outsourcing services. The company was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Patientbioinvest]

    Let’s take a look at his top three buys over the last quarter:

    AT&T (T): This is a new holding for the fund. Olstein bought 146,000 shares at prices between $33.1 and $36.45. The current stock price is 33.01, i.e. a 5% to the average high-low price over the period. The stock has been in a bear trend for more than a year but counts Gurus James Barrow (Trades, Portfolio) and Brian Rogers (Trades, Portfolio) as biggest holders. AON (AON): The fund purchased 60,000 shares in the insurance company for a 0.75% impact to the portfolio. The stock is still trading at the upper bound of the high-low price ranges over the past quarter. Aon PLC provides risk management and human capital consulting services, delivering distinctive client value via risk management solutions, including insurance and reinsurance brokerage and workforce productivity solutions. It is also noteworthy that the stock saw a large insider buy of more than $2 million by one of the company’s director 10 days ago. International Game Technology (IGT): IGT is a global gaming company specializing in the design, manufacture and marketing of electronic gaming equipment and systems products. The Olstein fund added 246,000 shares of the company over the last quarter. The current price is at a 20% discount to the average of the price range over the period. It is noteworthy that Guru John Hussman (Trades, Portfolio) also bought 500,000 shares over the same period.
    Also check out: Robert Olstein Undervalued Stocks Robert Olstein Top Growth Companies Robert Olstein High Yield stocks, and Stocks that Robert Olstein keeps buying

    Currently 3.00/512345

    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes)

  • [By Sean Williams]

    It’s been a banner year for private-platform health insurers, as some very large enterprises including Walgreen, IBM, Time Warner, and Home Depot have shifted at least some of their employee base to a privatized exchange. The two names here that should benefit are Aon (NYSE: AON  ) , which runs the Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange and had landed 18 clients with 5,000 or more employees as of last month, and Xerox (NYSE: XRX  ) , whose subsidiary Buck Consultants built RightOpt, an employer-based privatized exchange aimed primarily at retirees who are getting the boot from their corporate health benefits plan.

Top Insurance Companies To Watch 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.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [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.

Top Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: Kemper Corp (KMPR)

Kemper Corporation (Kemper), formerly Unitrin, Inc., incorporated in 1990, is a diversified insurance holding company, with subsidiaries that provide life, health, automobile, homeowners and other insurance products to individuals and small businesses. The Company is engaged, through its subsidiaries, in the property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance and automobile finance businesses. The Company conducts its operations through four operating segments: Kemper Preferred (Preferred), Unitrin Specialty (Specialty), Unitrin Direct (Direct) and Life and Health Insurance. On September 14, 2011, its subsidiary, Fireside Bank sold its loan portfolio to a subsidiary of Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc.

Property and Casualty Insurance Business

The Company’s property and casualty insurance business operations are primarily conducted through the Preferred, Specialty and Direct segments. In addition, the Life and Health Insurance segment’s ca reer agents also sell property insurance to its customers. Its insurance subsidiaries operating in the Preferred, Specialty and Direct segments provide automobile, homeowners, fire, and other types of property and casualty insurance to individuals and commercial automobile insurance to businesses. During the year ended December 31, 2011, automobile insurance in these segments accounted for 54% of its consolidated insurance premiums earned from continuing operations, and 47% of its consolidated revenues from continuing operations. During 2011, homeowners insurance in these segments accounted for 14% of its consolidated insurance premiums earned from continuing operations, and 11% of its consolidated revenues from continuing operations.

Preferred and Specialty segments distribute their products through independent agents who are paid commissions for their services. Direct segment distributes its products directly to consumers and through employer-sponsored voluntary benefit programs and other affinity relationships.! Preferred, based in Jacksonville, Florida, conducts business in 38 states and the District of Columbia. During 2011, the states, which provided over half of the premium revenues in Preferred segment included New York (19%), California (12%), North Carolina (13%) and Texas (10%). Preferred segment primarily sells preferred and standard risk automobile and homeowners insurance. During 2011, Preferred’s insurance products accounted for 53% of the aggregate insurance premium revenues of the Company’s property and casualty insurance business. Its products are marketed by approximately 2,700 independent insurance agents. Specialty, based in Dallas, Texas, conducts business in 21 states, principally in the southwest and western United States. During 2011, the states, which provided more than three-fourths of the premium revenues in Specialty segment included California (42%), Texas (18%), Washington (8%), Louisiana (4%) and Oregon (3%). Specialty provides personal and commerci al automobile insurance. During 2011, Specialty’s insurance products accounted for 28% of the aggregate insurance premium revenues of the Company’s property and casualty insurance business. Specialty’s products are marketed through approximately 8,000 independent agents and brokers.

Direct, based in Chicago, Illinois, markets personal automobile, homeowners and renters insurance through a range of direct-to-consumer Websites, including its own Websites, marketing partners, employer and other affinity-sponsored relationships. The Direct segment’s automobile insurance products are available in 48 states and the District of Columbia. During 2011, the states, which provided approximately two-thirds of the premium revenues in Unitrin Direct segment included Florida (12%), New York (15%), California (10%), Texas (5%), Connecticut (5%), Michigan (8%), Pennsylvania (5%) and Georgia (5%). During 2011, Direct’s insurance products accounted for 14% of the aggrega te insurance premium revenues of its property and casualty i! nsurance ! business.. Direct also offers homeowners and renters insurance across 47states and the District of Columbia, complementing its direct automobile insurance business. The Company manages its exposure to catastrophes and other natural disasters through a combination of geographical diversification, restrictions on the amount and location of new business production in certain regions, and reinsurance. To limit its exposures to catastrophic events, the Company maintains various primary catastrophe reinsurance programs for its property and casualty insurance businesses.

Life and Health Insurance Business

The Company’s Life and Health Insurance segment consists of Kemper’s wholly owned subsidiaries, United Insurance Company of America (United Insurance), The Reliable Life Insurance Company (Reliable), Union National Life Insurance Company (Union National Life), Mutual Savings Life Insurance Company (Mutual Savings Life), United Casualty Insurance Comp any of America (United Casualty), Union National Fire Insurance Company (Union National Fire), Mutual Savings Fire Insurance Company (Mutual Savings Fire) and Reserve National Insurance Company (Reserve National). As discussed below, United Insurance, Reliable, Union National Life, Mutual Savings Life, United Casualty, Union National Fire and Mutual Savings Fire (the Kemper Home Service Companies) distribute their products through a network of employee, or career, agents. Reserve National distributes its products through a network of exclusive independent agents. Both these career agents and independent agents are paid commissions for their services. During 2011, the states, which provided approximately two-thirds of the Life and Health Insurance segment’s premium revenues included Texas (21%), Louisiana (11%), Alabama (7%), Mississippi (6%), Illinois (4%), Florida (4%), Georgia (4%), Missouri (4%), and North Carolina (4%). During 2011, life insurance accounted for 18% of the Company’s consolidated insurance premiums earned from ! continuing! operations, and 16% of its consolidated revenues from continuing operations.

The Kemper Home Service Companies, based in St. Louis, Missouri, focus on providing individual life and health insurance products to customers of modest incomes who desire basic protection for themselves and their families. Their product is ordinary life insurance, including permanent and term insurance. Face amounts of these policies are lower than those of policies sold to higher income customers by other companies in the life insurance industry. Approximately 79% of the Life and Health Insurance segment’s premium revenues are generated by the Kemper Home Service Companies. The Life and Health Insurance segment’s career agents also distribute certain property insurance products. Reserve National, based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is licensed in 35 states throughout the south, southwest and midwest, and specializes in the sale of Medicare Supplement insurance and limited health in surance coverages, such as fixed indemnity, dental and vision, and accident-only plans, primarily to individuals in rural areas where access to a multitude of health plan options is less prevalent.

The Company’s life and health insurance companies utilize reinsurance arrangements. Included among the segment’s reinsurance arrangements is excess of loss reinsurance coverage specifically designed to protect against losses arising from catastrophic events under the property insurance policies distributed by the Kemper Home Service Companies’ agents and written by Kemper’s subsidiaries, United Casualty, Union National Fire and Mutual Savings Fire, and reinsured by Kemper’s subsidiary, Trinity Universal Insurance Company (Trinity), or written by Capitol County Mutual Fire Insurance Company (Capitol), a mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders, and its subsidiary, Old Reliable Casualty Company (ORCC), and reinsured by Trinity.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    The property and casualty business of insurance company Kemper  (NYSE: KMPR  ) has a new bean counter.

    On Monday, the Chicago-based insurance company announced that Elizabeth “Libbie” Bock will take on the role of CFO for the P&C division, where she would be responsible for all aspects of operations, reporting, control, planning and analysis, financial management, and competitive analysis.

Top Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: Federated National Holding Co (FNHC)

Federated National Holding Company (Federated National), formerly 21st Century Holding Company, is an insurance holding company, which through its subsidiaries and its contractual relationships with its independent agents and general agents, controls all aspects of the insurance underwriting, distribution and claims processes. Federated National is authorized to underwrite homeowners’ multi-peril (homeowners), personal umbrella, commercial general liability, following form commercial excess liability, personal and commercial automobile, fire, allied lines, workers’ compensation, business personal property and commercial inland marine insurance. On January 26, 2011, Federated National merged into the Company’s other wholly owned subsidiary, American Vehicle Insurance Company (American Vehicle), with resulting entity being Federated National.

Federated National markets and distributes its own and third-party insurers’ products and its other services thro ugh a network of independent agents. The Company also utilize a select number of general agents for the same purpose. During 2010, the Company processed property and liability claims stemming from its homeowners’, commercial general liability and private passenger automobile lines of business. Through contractual relationships with a network of approximately 4,200 independent agents, of which approximately 400 sell and service its products, Federated National is authorized to underwrite homeowners’, fire, allied lines and personal automobile insurance in Florida.

American Vehicle is licensed as an admitted carrier in Florida, and underwrites commercial general liability, and personal and commercial automobile insurance. American Vehicle is also licensed as an admitted carrier in Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Texas, and underwrites commercial general liability insurance in those states. American Vehicle operates as a non-admitted carrier in Arkansas, Califo rnia, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South ! Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, and can underwrite commercial general liability insurance in all of these states. During 2010, 79.7%, 12.3%, 4.1% and 3.9% of the premiums the Company underwrote were for homeowners’, commercial general liability, federal flood, and personal automobile insurance, respectively. Federated National internally processes claims made by its insured through its wholly owned claims adjusting company, Superior Adjusting, Inc. (Superior). It also offers premium financing to its own and third-party insured through its wholly owned subsidiary, Federated Premium Finance, Inc. (Federated Premium).

Homeowners’ Property and Casualty Insurance

Federated National underwrites homeowners’ insurance primarily in the South, West and Central Florida regions. Homeowners’ insurance protects an owner of real and personal property against covered causes of loss to that property. The Company’s homeowner insurance products provide max imum dwelling coverage in the amount of approximately $0.8 million, with the aggregate maximum policy limit being approximately $1.5 million. Premium rates are regulated and approved by the Florida OIR.

Commercial Residential Property Insurance

The Florida OIR has granted Federated National the authority to write commercial residential property insurance under the fire line of business. This class of business affords property coverage primarily to associations with property commonly owned by the tenants of the association. Aggregate policy limits ranged between $1.0 million and $20 million. Additionally, Federated National has secured automatic facultative reinsurance for insured values up to $10 million with permission to individually submit attractive risks greater than $10 million to its reinsurers for quote and binding authority.

Commercial General Liability and Inland Marine

The Company underwrite commercial general l iability insurance for approximately 350 classes of artisan ! (excludin! g home-builders and developers) and mercantile trades (such as owners, landlords and tenants). The limits of liability range from $100,000 per occurrence with a $200,000 policy aggregate to $1 million per occurrence with a $2 million policy aggregate. The Company markets the commercial general liability insurance products through independent agents and a limited number of general agencies unaffiliated with the Company.

Personal Automobile

Personal automobile insurance markets can be divided into two categories: standard automobile and nonstandard automobile. Standard personal automobile insurance is provided to insureds who present an average risk profile in terms of driving record, vehicle type and other factors. Nonstandard personal automobile insurance is provided to insureds that are unable to obtain standard insurance coverage because of their driving record, age, vehicle type or other factors, including market conditions. During 2010, the ave rage annual premium on policies was approximately $1,325, and the nonstandard personal automobile insurance lines represented 100% of its written premiums for personal automobile insurance. Federated National underwrites new and renewal policies for this coverage on primarily an annual basis and to a much lesser extent, on a semi-annual basis. American Vehicle underwrites standard personal automobile insurance policies.

Flood

Federated National writes flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Company writes the policy for the NFIP, which assumes 100% of the flood risk while it retains a commission for its service. The average flood policy premium is approximately $570 with limits up to $250,000.

Assurance MGA

Assurance MGA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Federated National, acts as Federated National’s and American Vehicle’s exclusive managing general agent in the state of Florida and is a lso licensed as a managing general agent in the states of Al! abama, Ar! kansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Assurance MGA has contracted with several unaffiliated insurance companies to sell commercial general liability, workers compensation, personal umbrella and inland marine insurance through Assurance MGA’s existing network of agents. Assurance MGA earns commissions and fees for providing policy administration, marketing, accounting and analytical services, and for participating in the negotiation of reinsurance contracts. The homeowner policy provides Assurance MGA the right to cancel any policy within a period of 90 days from the policy’s inception with 25 days’ notice, or after 90 days from policy inception with 95 days’ notice, even if the risk falls within its underwriting criteria.

Superior

Superior processes claims made by insured from Federated National and American Vehicle. Its agents have no authority to settle claims or otherwise exercise control over the claims process. Federated National also employs an in-house legal department to manage claims-related litigation and to monitor its claims handling practices for compliance.

Federated Premium

Federated Premium provides premium financing to Federated National’s, American Vehicle’s and third-party’s insureds. Premium financing has been marketed through the Company’s distribution network of general agents and independent agents. Premiums for property and casualty insurance, in certain circumstances, are payable at the time a policy is placed in- force or renewed. Federated Premium’s services allow the insured to pay a portion of the premium when the policy is placed in-force and the balance in monthly installments over a specified term, between six and nine months.

Insure-Link, Inc. (Insure-Link)

Insure-Link serves as an independent insurance agency. The insurance ag ency markets direct to the public to provide a variety of in! surance p! roducts and services to individual clients, as well as business clients, by offering a line of insurance products, including, but not limited to, homeowners’, personal and commercial automobile, commercial general liability and workers’ compensation insurance through their agency appointments with over fifty different carriers. There were no other agency relationships with affiliated captive or franchised agents during 2010.

The Company competes with Castle Key (formerly Allstate Floridian) Indemnity Insurance Company, Fidelity National Insurance Company, Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Royal Palm Insurance Company, St. Johns Insurance Company, Cypress Property and Casualty Insurance Company, American Strategic Insurance Company, Century Surety Insurance Company, Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company, Colony Insurance Company, Burlington/First Financial Insurance Companies, Kingsway Amigo Insurance Company, United Automobile Insurance Compa ny, Direct General Insurance Company, Ocean Harbor Insurance Company, Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, and GEICO.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Damian Illia]

    As we can see, the firm ratio is higher than the ones shown by Alleghany, Fidelity, Federated National Holding Co. (FNHC) and Global Indemnity Plc (GBLI).

Top Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: American International Group Inc.(AIG)

American International Group, Inc. is an international insurance organization. The company operates property and casualty insurance networks worldwide and conducts activities in the U.S. life insurance and retirement services industry. It also involves in commercial aircraft leasing and residential mortgage guaranty insurance businesses. The company, through Chartis Inc., provides various property and casualty insurance products under commercial and consumer categories worldwide. These products include surplus lines, executive liability/directors? and officers? liability, employment practices, excess casualty, and travel/assistance lines. American International Group, through SunAmerica Financial Group, offers a suite of life insurance and retirement products and services, including term life, universal life, accident and health, fixed and variable deferred annuities, fixed payout annuities, mutual funds, and financial planning products and services to individuals and grou ps in the United States. The company, through International Lease Finance Corporation, operates as an aircraft lessor that acquires commercial jet aircraft from various manufacturers and other parties, and leases those aircraft to airlines worldwide. It also sells aircraft from its fleet to other leasing companies, financial services companies, and airlines, as well as provides management services to third-party owners of aircraft portfolios. American International Group, through United Guaranty Corporation, issues residential mortgage guaranty insurance that covers mortgage lenders from the first loss for credit defaults on high loan-to-value conventional first-lien mortgages for the purchase or refinance of one- to four-family residences in the U.S. and internationally. The company was founded in 1967 and is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    American International Group (AIG) has made oodles of progress since its bad pre-financial-crisis bets nearly took it down. If nothing else, American International Group’s 49% annualized return during the past five years is a sign of that progress.

    Bloomberg News

    Just don’t expect more of the same, say Deutsche Bank’s Joshua Shanker and Phil Stefano who downgraded American International Group. They explain why:

    After making significant improvements in its core operations, elevated expenses continue to impose a ceiling on the profitability of [American International Group’s] the property and casualty business. Management indicates that Fuji unit integration costs will keep expenses high through 2014, which suggests that core ROE may stagnate at around 6% for the foreseeable future. While we believe cash flow will ultimately exceed core and GAAP EPS, we believe incremental buyers will need to see additional combined ratio improvement to be motivated to purchase [American International Group] stock.

    Shanker and Stefano expect shares of American International Group to remain range bound near $50 in the short-term.

    Shares of American International Group have dropped 1.7% to $49.67 at 1:19 p.m. today, while American Financial Group (AFG) has, dropped 0.2% to $57.23, HCC Insurance (HCC) is little changed at $45.12, Travelers (TRV) has dipped 0.1% to $83.52 and Chubb (CB) is off 0.1% at $86.58.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    It’s been a good day for life insurers across the board today, thanks to speculation that the Fed could get more hawkish following today’s jobs report–and higher interest rates would benefit insurers. Shares of Prudential have gained 2% to $88.47 at 2:53 p.m. today, while Metlife (MET) has risen 1.3% to $53.04 and Lincoln National (LNC) has advanced 1.6% to $52.75. American International Group (AIG) has dropped 0.2% to $51.05.

Top Insurance Companies To Watch 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.

Top Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (FRFHF.PK)

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 Infinity Group]

    With 515 million shares outstanding, this equates to 33% of all shares being shorted. It should also be noted that Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings (FRFHF.PK) is holding 51.8 million BlackBerry shares. Prem Watsa stated at the annual FairFax shareholders meeting that Fairfax is holding a long position with BlackBerry and anticipates shareholder value increasing over the next 2-3 years. The cost basis for FairFax financial holdings is approximately $17 per BlackBerry share.

  • [By Alex Jordon]

    There’s talk that Prem Watsa, head of Fairfax Financial Holdings (FRFHF.PK), could possibly be involved in a privatization bid for the company. Consider:

Top Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: MBIA Inc (MBI)

MBIA Inc. (MBIA), incorporated on November 12, 1986, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, operates the financial guarantee insurance businesses in the industry and is a provider of asset management advisory services. These activities are managed through three business segments: United States public finance insurance, structured finance and international insurance, and advisory services. The Company’s United States public finance insurance business is operated through National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation and its subsidiaries (National), its structured finance and international insurance business is primarily operated through MBIA Insurance Corporation and its subsidiaries (MBIA Corp.), and its asset management advisory services business is primarily operated through Cutwater Holdings, LLC and its subsidiaries (Cutwater). It also manages certain business activities through its corporate, asset/liability products, and conduit segments. The corporate segment includes revenues and expenses that arise from general corporate activities. Funding programs managed through the asset/liability products and conduit segments are in wind-down.

MBIA Corp. owns MBIA UK Insurance Limited (MBIA UK), a financial guarantee insurance company that is regulated and supervised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the United Kingdom and is authorized to carry out insurance business in the United Kingdom and in the European Economic Area on a cross border services basis. Its financial guarantee insurance generally provides investors with an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee of the payment of the principal, interest or other amounts owing on insured obligations when due or, in the event that the Company has the right at its discretion to accelerate insured obligations upon default or otherwise, upon its election to accelerate. The Company conducts its financial guarantee business, as well as related reinsurance, advisory and portfolio services, through its subsidiaries National Publi! c Finance Guarantee Corporation (National), its United States (United States) public finance-only financial guarantee company, and MBIA Insurance Corporation and its subsidiaries (MBIA Corp.), which write global structured finance and non-United States public finance financial guarantee insurance.

Insurance operations

The Company’s United States public finance insurance business is conducted through National, and its structured finance and international insurance operations are conducted through MBIA Corp. and its subsidiaries. It also issue insurance policies to guarantee the payment of principal and interest on municipal obligations being traded in the secondary market upon the request of a broker or an existing holder of uninsured bonds, where premium is generally paid by the owner of the obligation. In addition, the Company has provided financial guarantees to debt service reserve funds. The primary risk in its insurance operations is that o f adverse credit performance in the insured portfolio. It seeks to maintain a diversified insured portfolio and have designed each insured portfolio with the aim of managing and diversifying risk based on a range of criteria, including revenue source, issue size, type of asset, industry concentrations, type of bond and geographic area.

Through the Company’s reinsurance of United States public finance financial guarantees from MBIA Corp. and Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC), National’s insurance portfolio consists of municipal bonds, including tax-exempt and taxable indebtedness of United States political subdivisions, as well as utility districts, airports, health care institutions, higher educational facilities, student loan issuers, housing authorities and other similar agencies and obligations issued by private entities that finance projects that serve a substantial public purpose. Municipal bonds and privately issued bonds used for the fina ncing of public purpose projects are generally supported by ! taxes, as! sessments, user fees or tariffs related to the use of these projects, lease payments or other similar types of revenue streams. As of December 31, 2012, MBIA Corp. had 899 policies outstanding in its insured portfolio. In addition, MBIA Corp. had 199 insurance policies outstanding relating to asset/liability products liabilities issued by MBIA Inc. and its subsidiaries.

Advisory Services

In the Company’s asset management advisory services business its registered investment advisors provide fixed-income asset management services for third parties and the investment portfolios of the Company and its affiliates (including the wind-down businesses) on a fee-for-service basis. Its advisory services are offered in two product lines, traditional and structured. Within the traditional product line, Cutwater offers cash management, customized asset management, discretionary asset management and fund accounting services to governments, insurance companies (including the Company’s insurance subsidiaries), corporations, pension funds, unions, endowments, foundations and investment companies in both pooled and separate account formats. These services are offered through registered investment advisers, and Cutwater receives asset management and administrative fees as compensation. Within the structured product line, Cutwater manages asset/liability programs and conduits (the wind-down businesses), Collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and other funding vehicles for banks, insurance companies, program trustees and investment companies, and it earns base and performance fees for its services. Cutwater’s advisory services are offered through two principal operating subsidiaries: Cutwater Asset Management Corp. (Cutwater-AMC), an SEC-registered investment adviser and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm, and Cutwater Investor Services Corp. (Cutwater-ISC), an SEC-registered investment adviser.

< p>Wind-down Business

The asset/liability produc! ts busine! ss historically raised funds for investment through two sources, such as issuance of customized investment agreements by the Company and one of its subsidiaries for bond proceeds and other funds, and issuance of medium-term notes (MTNs) with varying maturities issued by its subsidiary MBIA Global Funding, LLC (GFL). Each of these products is guaranteed by MBIA Corp. In addition, GFL would lend the proceeds of its GFL MTN issuances to MBIA Inc. (GFL Loans). The Company primarily purchased domestic securities and lent a portion of the proceeds from investment agreements and GFL MTNs to its subsidiary Euro Asset Acquisition Limited, which primarily purchased foreign assets as permitted under the Company’s investment guidelines. The Company’s conduit segment is principally operated through Meridian Funding Company, LLC (Meridian) and, formerly, Triple-A One Funding Corporation (Triple-A One). The conduits were used by banks and other financial institutions to raise funds for their customers in the capital markets. During 2012, Triple-A One was liquated. The conduits provided funding for multiple customers through special purpose vehicles that issued commercial paper and MTNs.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    MBIA (NYSE: MBI) was also up, gaining 9.08 percent to $14.53 after the company reported upbeat Q4 earnings.

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of McDermott International (NYSE: MDR) were down 9.49 percent to $7.34 after the company reported a Q4 loss of $1.37 per share on revenue of $517.3 million. It also withdrew its previous outlook. Capital One Financial downgraded the stock from Equalweight to Underweight and cut the price target from $8.00 to $6.00.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    MBIA (NYSE: MBI) was also up, gaining 8.18 percent to $14.41 after the company reported upbeat Q4 earnings.

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of McDermott International (NYSE: MDR) were down 6.97 percent to $7.55 after the company reported a Q4 loss of $1.37 per share on revenue of $517.3 million. It also withdrew its previous outlook. Capital One Financial downgraded the stock from Equalweight to Underweight and cut the price target from $8.00 to $6.00.

  • [By MarketWatch]

    MBIA Inc. (MBI)  is expected to post a loss of 3 cents a share in the fourth quarter.

  • [By Christina Rexrode]

    Bond insurer MBIA Inc. (MBI)  was down, giving up some of its gains from the day before. The stock leapt more than 5% Thursday after the Journal reported that MBIA would settle a legal dispute with Nomura Holdings Inc., allowing it to put to rest another chunk of legal exposure related to soured mortgage-backed securities.

Top Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd (AHL)

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (Aspen Holdings), incorporated on May 23, 2002, is a holding company. The Company conducts insurance and reinsurance business through its subsidiaries in three jurisdictions: Aspen Insurance UK Limited (Aspen U.K.) and Aspen Underwriting Limited (AUL), corporate member of Syndicate 4711 at Lloyd’s of London (United Kingdom), Aspen Bermuda Limited (Aspen Bermuda) and Aspen Specialty Insurance Company (Aspen Specialty) and Aspen American Insurance Company (AAIC). Aspen UK. also has branches in Paris (France), Zurich (Switzerland), Dublin (Ireland), Cologne (Germany), Singapore, Australia and Canada. It operates in the global markets for property and casualty insurance and reinsurance. It manages its insurance and reinsurance businesses as two distinct underwriting segments, Aspen Insurance and Aspen Reinsurance (Aspen Re), to serve its global customer base. Its insurance segment is consisted of property, casualty, marine, energy and transp ortation insurance and financial and professional lines insurance. Its reinsurance segment is consisted of property reinsurance (catastrophe and other), casualty reinsurance and specialty reinsurance. In April 2013, the reinsurance segment of the Company announced the formation of a new division, Aspen Capital Markets.

In the Company’s insurance segment, property, casualty and financial and professional lines insurance business is written in the London Market through Aspen U.K. and in the United States through Aspen Specialty and AAIC. Its marine, energy and transportation insurance business is written through Aspen U.K. and AUL, which is the corporate member of Syndicate 4711 at Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s), managed by Aspen Managing Agency Limited (AMAL). It also writes casualty business through AUL. In reinsurance, property reinsurance business is assumed by Aspen Bermuda and Aspen U.K. The property reinsurance business written in the United States is wr itten by Aspen Re America and ARA-CA as reinsurance intermed! iaries with offices in Connecticut, Illinois, Florida, New York, Georgia and California. The business written in the United States is produced by Aspen Re America.

Reinsurance

The Company’s reinsurance segment consists of property catastrophe reinsurance, other property reinsurance (risk excess, pro rata, risk solutions and facultative), casualty reinsurance (the United States treaty, international treaty and global facultative) and specialty reinsurance (credit and surety, structured, agriculture and specialty). Property catastrophe reinsurance is written on a treaty excess of loss basis where it provides protection to an insurer for an agreed portion of the total losses from a single event in excess of a specified loss amount. In the event of a loss, contracts provide for coverage of a second occurrence following the payment of a premium to reinstate the coverage under the contract, which is referred to as a reinstatement premium. The coverage p rovided under excess of loss reinsurance contracts may be on a global basis or limited in scope to selected regions or geographical areas.

Other property reinsurance includes risk excess of loss and proportional treaty reinsurance, facultative or single risk reinsurance and its risk solutions business. Risk excess of loss reinsurance provides coverage to a reinsured where it experiences a loss in excess of its retention level on a single risk basis. Proportional contracts involve close client relationships, including regular audits of the cedants’ data. Its risk solutions business writes property insurance risks for a select group of the United States program managers. Casualty reinsurance is written on an excess of loss, proportional and facultative basis and consists of the United States treaty, international treaty and casualty facultative. Its United States treaty business consists of exposures to workers’ compensation (including catastrophe), medical ma lpractice, general liability, auto liability, professional l! iability ! and excess liability, including umbrella liability. Its international treaty business reinsures exposures respect to general liability, auto liability, professional liability, workers’ compensation and excess liability.

Specialty reinsurance is written on an excess of loss and proportional basis and consists of credit and surety reinsurance, structured risks, agriculture reinsurance and other specialty lines. Its credit and surety reinsurance business consists of trade credit reinsurance, international surety reinsurance (mainly European, Japanese and Latin American risks and excluding the United States) and a political risks portfolio. Its agricultural reinsurance business is written on a treaty basis covering crop and multi-peril business. Other specialty lines include reinsurance treaties and some insurance policies covering policyholders’ interests in marine, energy, liability aviation, space, contingency, terrorism, nuclear, personal accident and crop r einsurance. A percentage of the property reinsurance contracts it writes exclude coverage for losses arising from the peril of terrorism. These contracts exclude coverage protecting against nuclear, biological or chemical attack.

The Company competes Arch Capital Group Ltd., Axis Capital Holdings Limited (Axis), Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (Endurance), Everest Re Group Limited, Lancashire Holdings Limited, Montpelier Re Holdings Limited, PartnerRe Ltd., Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd., Renaissance Re Holdings Ltd., Validus Holdings Ltd., XL Capital Ltd. (XL) and various Lloyd’s syndicates.

Insurance

The Company’s insurance segment consists of property insurance, casualty insurance, marine, energy and transportation insurance and financial and professional lines insurance. Its property insurance line comprises the United Kingdom commercial property and construction business and the United States property business. Property insurance provides physical damage and business interruption! coverage! for losses arising from weather, fire, theft and other causes. The United States commercial property team covers mercantile, manufacturing, municipal and commercial real estate business. The United States property also includes its program business, which writes property insurance risks for a select group of the United States program managers. The United Kingdom commercial team’s client base is predominantly the United Kingdom institutional property owners, middle market corporates and public sector clients.

The Company’s casualty insurance line comprises commercial liability, global excess casualty, the United States casualty insurance and environmental liability, written on a primary, quota share and facultative basis. Commercial liability is written in the United Kingdom and provides employers’ liability coverage and public liability coverage for insureds domiciled in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The global excess casualty line comprises risk-manage d insureds globally and covers risks at points, including general liability, commercial and residential construction liability, life science, railroads, trucking, product and public liability and associated types of cover found in general liability policies in the global insurance market. The United States casualty account consists of lines written within the general liability and umbrella liability insurance sectors. Coverage on its general liability line is offered on those risks that are miscellaneous, products liability, contractors (general contractors and artisans), real estate and retail risks and other general liability business. The United States environmental account provides contractors’ pollution liability and pollution legal liability across industry segments that have environmental regulatory drivers and contractual requirements for coverage, including real estate and public entities, contractors and engineers, energy contractors and environmental contractors and consultants. The business is written in both the primar! y and exc! ess insurance markets.

The Company’s marine, energy and transportation insurance line comprises marine, energy and construction (M.E.C.) liability, energy physical damage, marine hull, specie, inland marine and ocean risks and aviation, written on a primary, quota share and facultative basis. The M.E.C. liability business includes marine liability cover related to the liabilities of ship-owners and port operators, including reinsurance of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (P&I Clubs). It also provides liability cover for companies in the oil and gas sector, both onshore and offshore and in the power generation and the United States commercial construction sectors. Energy physical damage provides insurance cover against physical damage losses in addition to Operators Extra Expenses (OEE) for companies operating in the oil and gas exploration and production sector. The marine hull team insures physical damage for ships (including war and associated perils) and rel ated marine assets. The specie business line focuses on the insurance of property items on an all risks basis, including fine art, general and bank related specie, jewelers’ block and armored car. The inland marine and ocean cargo team writes business covering builders’ construction risk, contractors’ equipment, transportation and ocean cargo risks in addition to exhibition, fine arts and museums insurance.

The aviation team writes physical damage insurance on hulls and spares (including war and associated perils) and comprehensive legal liability for airlines, smaller operators of airline equipment, airports and associated business and non-critical component part manufacturers. It also provides aviation hull deductible cover. Its financial and professional lines comprise financial institutions, professional liability (including management and technology liability), financial and political risks and the United States surety risks, written on a primary, qu ota share and facultative basis. Its financial institutions ! business ! is written on both a primary and excess of loss basis and consists of professional liability, crime insurance and directors’ and officers’ (D&O) cover. It covers financial institutions, including commercial and investment banks, asset managers, insurance companies, stockbrokers and insureds with hybrid business models. Its professional liability business is written out of the United States (including Errors and Omissions (E&O)), the United Kingdom and Switzerland and is written on both a primary and excess of loss basis.

The Company insures a range of professions, including lawyers, accountants, architects and engineers. Its management and technology liability teams write on both a primary and excess basis D&O insurance, technology-related policies in the areas of network privacy, misuse of data and cyber liability and warranty and indemnity insurance in connection with, or to facilitate, corporate transactions. The financial and political risks team writes business covering the credit/default risk on a range of project and trade transactions, as well as political risks, terrorism (including multi-year war on land cover), piracy and kidnap and ransom (K&R). It writes financial and political risks globally but with concentrations in a range of countries, such as Russia, China, Brazil, the Netherlands and United States. Its surety team writes commercial surety risks, admiralty bonds and similar maritime undertakings, including federal and public official bonds, license and permits and fiduciary and miscellaneous bonds and privately owned companies in the United States.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sally Jones] % over 12 months, Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. has a market cap of $2.63 billion; its shares were traded at around $40.06 with a P/E ratio of 13.50. The dividend yield is 1.80%.

    The GuruFocus analysis for AHL shows six warning signs.

    Track historical share pricing, revenue and net income:

    [ Enlarge Image ]

    Guru Action: As of Sept. 30, 2013, Arnold Schneider reduced his position by 89.42%, selling 109,081 shares at an average price of $36.77, for a gain of 8.9%.

    Over five quarters, Schneider has averaged a 28% gain on 166,209 shares bought at an average price of $31.34 per share. He gained 8% selling 153,305 shares at an average price of $37.03 per share.

    Guru Action: As of Sept. 30, 2013, Jim Simons increased his position by 387.47%, buying 501,000 shares at an average price of $36.77, for a gain of 8.9%. His current shares are 630,300.

    Over five years, Simons has sold out three times. He has averaged a 15% gain on 876,900 shar es bought at an average price of $34.82 per share. He gained 13% on 246,600 shares sold at an average price of $35.35 per share.

    Guru Action: As of Sept. 30, 2013, Steven Cohen increased his position by 190.15%, buying 15,037 shares at an average price of $36.77, for a gain of 8.9%. His current shares are 22,945.

    Cohen has averaged an 18% gain on 36,658 shares bought at an average price of $33.98 per share. He gained 22% on 13,713 shares sold at an average price of $32.85 per share.

    Guru Action: As of Sept. 30, 2013, top guru stakeholder David Einhorn reduced his position by 36.93%, selling 1,451,581 shares at an average price of $36.77, for a gain of 8.6%. This trade impacts his portfolio by -1%. His current shares are 2,478,935 or 3.67% of shares outstanding.

    Over five years, Einhorn has averaged a 67% gain on 5,700,182 shares bought at an average price of $23.88 per share. He gained 15% on 3,221,247 shares sold at an average price of $34.57 per share.

    Here