The Japanese devastation is almost incomprehensible. First there was the earthquake, followed by the tsunami, followed by radiation. It seems the disaster has no end. The people are suffering beyond imagination. It will be a long time for the country to heal. In the north, it will take decades.
Investors are trying to understand what the economic aftershocks will be. Which industries will be hurt and which ones will benefit? Because the crises change from day to day, it's extremely difficult to ascertain. But there are a few themes that seem to be emerging. Some of these will be short lived, such as the closing of the Japanese auto manufacturers. While they will lose days of production, the long-term effect will be minor, unless supplies are interrupted, causing further delays.
Continue reading Comfort Zone Investing: Aftershocks of the Disaster in Japan
Do you have any interest in insurance companies amidst the turmoil, disaster and current crises in Japan? A crises that followed so closely on the heals of the destruction of the New Zealand city of ChristChurch by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Perhaps you think this is even a poorer idea than catching that proverbial falling knife we are always hearing about when stock prices are collapsing.
Certainly there will be billions of dollars in claims. On the other hand, perhaps the burden will be spread around the globe to reinsurer's such that none is struck too hard and this is a buying opportunity. After all, when the dust settles, insurers will cry for mercy, and in particular, rate increases. It is also likely those that never saw the need for insurance have been awakened and demand will increase.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Insurance Stock Review -- Part 2
- BB&T (BBT) and Aflac (AFL) to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank.
- Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
- Zhongpin (HOGS) to neutral from reduce at Global Hunter.
- Marathon Oil (MRO), Noble Energy (NBL) and Manulife Financial (MFC) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO) to buy from hold at Canaccord.
- Comerica (CMA) to buy from neutral at Rochdale.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AAPL, AFL, BBT, CMA, ENER, HERO, IBM, LVS, MRO, NE ...
Ten weeks into the year and never a dull moment. Pondering the remaining 42 weeks and beyond, where will value be found? We know that "my pal Warren" is on the prowl waist high in Berkshire Hathaway cash to invest, and he is on record as chomping on the bit to do so. Just this morning it was reported that Buffett had closed a $9 billion deal to buy
Lubrizol Corp. (LZ
), the Wickliffe, Ohio-based maker of engine lubricants.
More evidence of this abounds: Wednesday March 2, (Reuters) - US-based Berkshire Hathaway aims to enter the Indian insurance sector as a corporate agent of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
This is part 1 of a series examining the insurance market for expansion, stock valuations, potential risks and opportunities, excluding health care focused companies, a whole other breed of enterprise.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Insured Profits or a Mountain of Risk?
- Athenahealth (ATHN), Ensco (ESV), Pride International (PDE) and Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI) to outperform from market perform at Wells Fargo.
- CIRCOR (CIR) to buy from hold at BB&T.
- Urban Outfitters (URBN) to hold from sell at Citigroup.
- Shaw Group (SHAW) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- MGM Resorts (MGM) and Boyd Gaming (BYD) to buy from neutral, as well as Intrepid Potash (IPI) to neutral from underperform, at BofA/Merrill.
- Carlisle (CSL) to buy from neutral at SunTrust.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AFL, AMZN, EBAY, ESV, FSLR, IBM, MGM, SHAW, TGT, WMT ...
- NYSE Euronex (NYX) to conviction buy from neutral at Goldman.
- General Dynamics (GD) to buy from hold at Citigroup.
- Deere (DE), Parker-Hannifin (PH) and ExlService (EXLS) to overweight from neutral at JPMorgan.
- Aflac (AFL) to outperform from market perform at FBR Capital.
- Wynn Resorts (WYNN) to buy from neutral at Janney Capital.
- Amdocs (DOX) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Juniper (JNPR) to buy from hold at ThinkEquity.
- Rudolph Tech (RTEC) and KLA-Tencor (KLAC) to perform from underperform at Oppenheimer.
- Hershey (HSY) and Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK) to outperform from market perform at Wells Fargo.
- Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) to equal weight from underweight at Morgan Stanley.
- Micron (MU) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AFL, DE, DOX, GD, GS, HSY, ITT, MS, NYX, TXN, UBS, WYNN ...
The earnings crunch continues this week, and analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are anticipating lots of strong quarterly reports.
For example, year-over-year earnings growth from big oil Chevron (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP), ExxonMobil (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) are expected to be in double digits. The same is true of many other energy and mining concerns reporting this week: Allegheny Technologies (ATI), Alliant Energy (LNT), Arch Coal (ACI), Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF), CMS Energy (CMS), CONSOL Energy (CNX), DPL (DPL), Hess Corp. (HES), Minerals Technologies (MTX), Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), PPL Corp. (PPL), Southwestern Energy (SWN), Total (TOT), Whiting Petroleum (WLL), Williams Companies (WMB) and Wisconsin Energy (WEC).
Continue reading Week in Preview: The Earnings Crunch Rolls On (MSFT, COP, V)
- option chain
) shares are rising today after the company announced this morning that it has sold all its holdings of Greek sovereign debt
and reduced exposure to hybrid securities, a move which assuaged investors' fears that the company was exposed to too many risky assets. Also in the announcement, AFL reiterated its growth forecast of 9-12% for this year. If you think that the stock won't fall by too much in the coming months, then now could be a good time to look at a bullish hedged trade on AFL.
AFL opened this morning at $44.12. So far today the stock has hit a low of $44.07 and a high of $46.20. As of 12:20, AFL is trading at $44.98 up $1.39 (3.2%). The chart for AFL looks neutral and S&P
gives AFL a neutral 3 STARS (out of 5) hold ranking.
Continue reading AFLAC Ditches Greek Debt and Reaffirms Guidance
The shares of insurer Aflac Inc. (AFL
), which I first wrote about on May 28, 2009
at a price of $36.07, over-corrected during the May 6 'flash crash,' and as a result, an opportunity exists for those investors who missed the earlier entry point.
Look for Aflac's revenue to increase an impressive 8-11% in 2010, driven higher by a strong performance in Japan (a major market for AFL, with more than 14 million policies), and recovering consumer demand in the United States. Meanwhile, look for Aflac to increase its $1.12 dividend this year, as well.
Continue reading Aflac: Pull-Back Creates an Opportunity
- Wells Fargo upgraded Norfolk Southern (NSC) to outperform from market perform following the company's Q1 results.
- RBC Capital transferred coverage on Gildan Activewear (GIL) with an outperform from sector perform. The firm is positive on Gildan's low-cost producer strategy and free cash flow generation. The firm raised its target to $35 from $26.
- Wunderlich upgraded Delphi Financial (DFG) to buy from hold following the company's Q1 results and raised its target for shares to $31 from $29.
- Aflac (AFL) was upgraded to buy from neutral at Sterne Agee.
- Time Warner (TWX) was upgraded to outperform from neutral at Cowen.
- Pride International (PDE) was upgraded to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: NSC, GIL, DFG, F, DVA, PFWD, PGN, TDS, PSSI ...
Insurer Aflac Inc. (AFL
), first discussed here on May 28, 2009
, at a price of $36.07, still looks impressive for the immediate years ahead for the following reasons.
Look for a 10% to 13% revenue increase in 2010, aided by new products, an increase in investment income, and new sales locations.
Further, Aflac's key Japan market (about 70% of revenue) should see a healthy increase in sales, largely driven by higher premiums.
Continue reading Aflac Continues to Impress
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