Willis (WSH) beats, with stronger revenues as well. Probably goes up tomorrow. Brooke Corporation (BXXX) beats, but who can really tell, their press release reveals few details. Personally, I believe every company that reports earnings should provide an income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows at minimum. I shouldn’t have to wait for the 10Q, or go to their website for a supplementary packet.
Landamerica (LFG) and Fidelity National (FNF) both stronger than expected. LFG went higher Tuesday; FNF goes higher today. If housing continues to sag, I would expect earnings to flatline, despite business from foreclosure sales and default processing.
Commerce Group (CGI) misses, blames weather and some technical items. Would expect it to fall today, despite the enhanced buyback. Personally, I distrust companies that announce expanded buybacks when earnings are poor.
Still no core life companies have reported. National Financial Partners (NFP) preannounces a miss. Stancorp (SFG) misses; looks like the Street just got ahead of the trend. SFG still reaffirms annual guidance, so the damage should be limited. I like SFG management a lot so if the price falls dramatically, it should be bought.
Montpelier (MRH) beats. I suspect that the sell side got too pessimistic about MRH’s business prospects given the changes in Florida law. As Pat Thiele of PartnerRe put it on his conference call, there is more business to be done by private reinsurers in Florida than one might expect. It will be interesting to hear what Tony Taylor says on his conference call tomorrow. Perhaps he will grace us with another quote from the Bible? ;)
That’s all for now. Earnings season is in full swing, and we are 25% through.