Newly public ING U.S. (VOYA) is up 20% since its IPO 2 weeks ago, but only trades at 60% of book...

Newly public ING U.S. (VOYA) is up 20% since its IPO 2 weeks ago, but only trades at 60% of book value compared to the average life insurer (MET, HIG, PRU) selling for near book, writes Andrew Bary. Not only that, but the company is misunderstood - it's more retirement-services specialist and asset manager (think PFG) than life insurer, and should command an even higher valuation. What's more the seller (ING) was forced by regulators to do so against its will, the ING CEO calling it a "significant destruction of capital." Spinoff & Reorg Profiles - rarely a fan of promoted IPOs - think's it's worth $31. With an easily digestible $6B market cap, it might be worth even more to an acquirer.

Comments (3)
  • john46
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    HIG is trading at just over $ 31 which is a far cry from its book value of over $45.00. Although the other two have moved up considerably over the last 6 months they still trade a over 20% under book, not the almost at book the writer states. How about writing accurate articles !!!
    20 May 2013, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • rlbeard
    , contributor
    Comments (90) | Send Message
    not only that but the writer failed to state that ING still does life insurance and annuity agreements which HIG just exited with losses. These are not branches to be in right now in a low interest environment. I feel HIG is still the best of the ones listed for capital appreciation. I think HIG is near 60% true book value. As true book is closer to $50. I am beginning to lose respect for a lot of seeking alpha writers that do poor research on topics they write about.
    20 May 2013, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • SA Editor Stephen Alpher
    , contributor
    Comments (563) | Send Message
    The MC and the Barron's piece both state the average price/book of the life insurers mentioned is about 1 (excluding VOYA). Some (PRU, PFG) are above, some (MET, HIG) are below.


    At $31.17, HIG trades at 80% of its $39.09 stated book as of March 31 (excluding AOCI).
    20 May 2013, 03:22 PM Reply Like
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