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Ashleigh Rogers

 
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  • Tenet Healthcare Has A Lot Of Good News And Assumptions Priced In Here
     • Mon, Aug. 25 THC 4 Comments

    Summary

    • THC's rapid stock price rise over the last month reflects considerable optimism about its future prospects.
    • This optimism is excessively exuberant as most metrics of patient growth are probably artificially high right now.
    • Investors should be cautious about buying into the stock with this much optimism priced in.
  • Marsh And McLennan Has Room For Eventual Multiple Expansion
     • Mon, Aug. 25 MMC Comment!

    Summary

    • MMC has been on a roll lately with significant margin expansion over the last few year and more still to come.
    • MMC leading market position in both of its business units should provide investors with some confidence in buying the stock.
    • These factors and the emerging economic tailwinds should lead to multiple expansion over the next few months.
  • Lincoln National: Not As Cheap As It Once Was
     • Mon, Aug. 25 LNC 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Lincoln National's stock is getting swept up in the excitement over higher rates in the future.
    • Lincoln National's earnings are still very much tied to the performance of equity markets though.
    • Investors should not get ahead of themselves and buy into a stock with a lot of positives already reflected in the price.
  • The Market May Be Almost Ready To Accept Nationstar Again
     • Mon, Aug. 25 NSM 4 Comments

    Summary

    • The market has lost faith in NSM in the face of persistent regulatory pressure.
    • This pressure will not last forever as similar events in the past show and when it subsides NSM should move higher fast.
    • NSM's management is doing a good job with running the business and improving the profitability on the servicing side.
    • At these valuation levels, NSM is still a very attractive investment.
  • Capital One Is Cheap, But Earnings Growth Is Uncertain
     • Mon, Aug. 18 DFS, COF 3 Comments

    Summary

    • While I like COF's overall strategy, macroeconomic challenges are holding back the stock and this looks likely to continue.
    • The company's focus on consumers in its loan book makes it less exposed to the gradual upward turn in business borrowing that seems to be taking place.
    • Credit quality at COF is very good and valuation is reasonable, but until the firm starts showing definite signs of significant revenue growth, the stock may be stuck in neutral.
  • Apollo Had A Rough Quarter
     • Mon, Aug. 18 EFR, APO Comment!

    Summary

    • Apollo's last quarterly report seems to have sunk sentiment on the shares.
    • Despite the report, Apollo still maintains many structural advantages I have highlighted in past articles.
    • Apollo looks well-positioned for rising rates, but a stagnant stock market could hold the stock back for now.
  • Humana: A Great Starter Stock For Insurance Investors
     • Mon, Aug. 18 HUM Comment!

    Summary

    • Humana's stability and consistent enrollment growth is a boon to risk-averse investors.
    • Recent weakness in the stock is largely a product of concerns over temporary headwinds.
    • In time, as concerns over the side-effects of healthcare reform subside, I expect the Humana's stable history of profits to merit a somewhat higher multiple.
  • Springleaf Holdings Is Finally Living Up To Its Potential
     • Mon, Aug. 18 AER, C, DFS Comment!

    Summary

    • Springleaf's recent real estate loans deal fundamentally transforms the company.
    • After a significant rise in the stock recently, it is not the deal it once was, but over time I think the firm still has a lot of potential.
    • New products and the coming mountain of cash help make Springleaf and its still sizeable loan portfolio a company with a bright future.
  • Canadian Imperial Bank Of Commerce Looks Cheap
     • Mon, Aug. 11 CM 4 Comments

    Summary

    • CIBC is unique in its amazing history of stability in profitability and dividends.
    • Concerns about margins across the banking sector and about the Canadian economy have probably held CIBC back despite its expansion opportunities.
    • Negativity on the Canadian economy is probably overdone and in time things will look better for the country which should help boost CIBC as well.
  • Manulife Financial Is Already Baking In Higher Rates But Could Eventually Have More Upside
     • Mon, Aug. 11 MFC 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Manulife Financial's Asian expansion is helping boost investor sentiments about the stock and this optimism is probably warranted in the medium term.
    • The company should also benefit from the emerging higher interest rate environment, but again this will take time to materialize.
    • Given the big run in the stock, while I think the company could move higher, a pause here would not be unwarranted.
  • Cigna Looks Good Here If One Believes Newly Insured Utilization Rates Will Level Off
     • Mon, Aug. 11 HNT, CI 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Cigna is rather inexpensive today in large part due to concerns over medical utilization ratios across the broader insurance sector.
    • Newly insured individuals are using more medical care and more expensive drugs than past customers have - this trend will reverse in time though.
    • While the precise economics and profitability around many aspects of healthcare are still uncertain, Cigna is a good enough value here to warrant buying.
  • SunTrust Banks Is Still Facing Headwinds
     • Mon, Aug. 11 STI 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Regional banks have largely disappointed investor hopes this year and SunTrust is certainly in this boat.
    • SunTrust is being held back by an anemic net interest margin which is unlikely to improve until rates start to rise.
    • On top of that, the regulatory headwinds for the firm make SunTrust a tough buy here.
  • Discover Financial Is Cheap And Has Great Opportunities
     • Mon, Aug. 11 BAC, JPM, MA 6 Comments

    Summary

    • Discover is an excellent bargain in the otherwise richly valued credit card space.
    • The firm's expansion into new loan areas seems to be causing investor heartburn despite Discover's excellent credit quality and continuing diligence on that front.
    • Multiple expansion is likely as the firm develops more of a post-Morgan Stanley track record in normal economic times.
  • NeuStar Is Still A Controversial Name But Clarity Is Coming Eventually
     • Tue, Aug. 5 ADBE, CSGP, VRSN 7 Comments

    Summary

    • NeuStar is still controversial and the fate of the NPAC contract remains up in the air.
    • As a result, the stock has been crushed and short interest is tremendous.
    • Despite this, NeuStar's other businesses have a lot of value and the stock is a good long-term buy.
  • Slow Earnings But Decent Loan Growth Are The Story At People's United Financial
     • Mon, Aug. 4 VNTV, PBCT Comment!

    Summary

    • People's United has underperformed over the last six months and in a rising market with rate increases now closer in time, the stock is worth considering.
    • The bank's deal with Vantiv was a good use of under-utilized resources and should boost earnings starting next year.
    • NIM is still quite weak, but People's management has been doing a good job controlling expenses.
  • IntercontinentalExchange Group Is Becoming A Dominant Play In A Consolidating Industry
     • Mon, Aug. 4 CBOE, CME, NDAQ 3 Comments

    Summary

    • The consolidation in the asset exchanges market is leaving ICE as one of two dominant companies - this bodes well for investors in the firm.
    • ICE is likely to end up selling off many of the legacy NYSE assets, but integration of the staid NYSE culture into ICE's entrepreneurial culture is still a risk.
    • The major unknown for investors though is how the Crisis era regulatory changes will play out for the firm - they could create headwinds or tailwinds.
  • Invesco Stands To Benefit From Increased Interest In Packaged Investment Products
     • Mon, Aug. 4 BLK, BX, FIG 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Asset manager Invesco's products are catching on well with the investing community for their convenience and value.
    • The firm's European exposure is slowly changing from a headwind to a tailwind.
    • I expect Invesco's assets under management and earnings to keep growing at a healthy pace going forward.
  • Things Are Getting Better At KeyCorp
     • Mon, Aug. 4 JPM, KEY 1 Comment

    Summary

    • KEY is a bit expensive at today's prices, but after the recent earnings report, the company is showing improvement in certain areas.
    • Investment banking revenues are showing good growth at KEY and I think there is room for this to continue.
    • The company now has much more diversified options and while net interest margins are still a headwind, this should reverse over the next year or two.
  • WellCare Disappoints, But The Drop Is Overdone
     • Mon, Aug. 4 WCG 1 Comment

    Summary

    • WellCare's problems stem from the start-up of its Florida Medicaid program and in time the company and state should be able to address them.
    • The company is also struggling with the costs of new Hepatitis C medications, but again time and working with the medical community to use cheaper drugs should help.
    • Given its growth potential and attractive economics, WellCare is an interesting buying opportunity after the post-earnings drop for both investors and larger insurance peers.
  • Fifth Third Bank's Slow Recovery Reflects Its Midwest Focus
       • Mon, Jul. 28 VNTV, FITB 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Fifth Third faces headwinds from both weak demand for loans and a low net interest margin.
    • Commercial banking is probably the strongest segment and that is helping to buoy the bank somewhat.
    • Fifth Third's slow recovery should continue to play out over the next few years and the stock is not expensive at these levels for interested long-term investors.
  • Leucadia National Corp Has Too Many Moving Parts
       • Mon, Jul. 28 BRK.A, BRK.B, BX 23 Comments

    Summary

    • Investors seem confused by Leucadia and determining its future earnings is difficult given the wide array of businesses it holds.
    • Leucadia does have a track record of increasing its book value by buying down on their luck assets.
    • For the patient investor with faith in Leucadia's management team and its strategy, an investment here may be worthwhile.
  • Hartford Financial Is Firing On All Cylinders In A Competitive Environment
       • Mon, Jul. 28 HIG 5 Comments

    Summary

    • Hartford's efforts to restructure its operations have been paying big dividends and the firm is really in form at this point.
    • Sale of the firm's Japanese unit should free up management's attention to focus on running the US business.
    • While the stock is not all that cheap on a trailing EPS basis, based on its forward outlook especially under an improving insurance market the company does look better.
  • Loews Looks A Bit Pricey Given Potential Margin Contraction
       • Mon, Jul. 28 CNA, DO, L 4 Comments

    Summary

    • Conglomerate Loew's is heavily leveraged to the insurance market through its CNA subsidiary.
    • Through CNA, Loew's saw a very benign catastrophe market this past year, but investors should not mistake this for being a new normal.
    • As a result of the weak insurance market, Loew's profits will probably remain under some pressure this year.
  • Steady-On At Top-Notch Underwriter Chubb
       • Mon, Jul. 21 CB 4 Comments

    Summary

    • In the tricky insurance underwriting business, Chubb is one of the best operators both on pricing discipline and wealth managment.
    • The weak property and casualty market has held back the stock, but that is starting to change and investors should look carefully at Chubb.
    • When interest rates start to rise, this should also help the stock's investment portfolio income.
  • Aon's Recession Era Acquisition Spree Has Not Helped Profits Enough
       • Mon, Jul. 21 AON 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Aon's buying binge during the crisis has helped profits and growth but not as much as one might have expected.
    • Macro headwinds in insurance and consulting will restrain the company's growth to something near the low-to-mid single digits for the next year or two.
    • Cost cutting is helping boost profits, but the firm is still somewhat expensive at today's prices.
  • An Eventual Return To Stocks By Individuals Will Benefit TD Ameritrade
       • Mon, Jul. 21 ETFC, SCHW, AMTD Comment!

    Summary

    • Ameritrade shareholders are banking on the eventual return of more retail investors to the stock market.
    • After several years of flat earnings, things seem to be looking up for the discount broker with new client assets flowing in.
    • Commission revenues still have a lot of room to rise at the firm, and a calm macroeconomic environment for the next few years would help with that.
  • Bank Of Montreal Faces A Challenging Canadian Environment
       • Mon, Jul. 21 BMO 7 Comments

    Summary

    • While Bank of Montreal and Canada weathered the Financial Crisis well, the poor economic outlook is holding back profits and returns for shareholders of the bank.
    • Up until the last few months, the bank's stock price had been volatile and delivering poor returns for shareholders.
    • Returns have improved of late and the bank's performance looks a bit better thanks to a couple of divisions doing well but that's not enough to justify an investment here.
  • Ameriprise Financial Needs To Keep Growing To Justify Its Price
       • Mon, Jul. 14 AMP 3 Comments

    Summary

    • Ameriprise's operational outperformance should continue at least through the remainder of the year.
    • It is hard to see a path for the stock to keep performing as well in the next few years as it has over the last few years.
    • The diversification of the firm's distribution base is a key driver to watch going forward.
  • Aetna Looks Like A Continuing Winner Among Insurance Majors
       • Mon, Jul. 14 UNH, AET 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Aetna looks like a value at today's prices, especially given the earnings power the firm is displaying recently.
    • Continuing uncertainty around healthcare reform has depressed multiples across the sector, but this should eventually reverse.
    • Aetna is well-positioned to profit from the new healthcare landscape in this country.
  • Some Rate Increases Priced In, But Aegon Should Still Have More Room To Rise With Rates
       • Mon, Jul. 14 AEG 7 Comments

    Summary

    • European insurer Aegon has struggled for the past few years, but seems to have come through the European financial crisis successfully.
    • Life insurance and annuities are crucial products for the company in its UK market and that area appears to be starting to turn.
    • Investment returns should also get a boost as rates begin to normalize.
  • Alliance Data Systems: A Low Profile Key Player In Finance And Technology
       • Mon, Jul. 7 ADS 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Alliance Data Systems is growing fast, but probably is around fair value right now.
    • The firm is seeing rapid profit growth, but continued performance depends in part on an improvement in the overall Canadian economy.
    • Air travel in Canada and the continued growth in the use of branded credit cards are the key drivers to watch for the firm.
  • Franklin Resources Seems To Be Falling Out Of Favor
       • Mon, Jul. 7 BEN 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Franklin Resources may be starting to lose traction with investors in the fund and assets under management growth seems to be slowing of late.
    • Fixed income flows have been weak for the firm and this headwind may persist given the uncertainty around the rate environment going forward.
    • The firm's Asian operations offer opportunity over the long-term, but that is not enough of a reason to invest given the rising assets under management headwinds.