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Navigators Group - Turning the Corner?

One of the largest holdings in my individual accounts and a top ten holding in accounts managed by Freedom Mountain Investments is Navigator's Group (NASDAQ:NAVG). I have outlined the basic case for this company in February 2008:

NAVG has had a few soft quarters of late along with pretty much every other Property and Casualty Insurance company. But when NAVG reported earnings last Thursday the report while not gangbusters, did sound a much more positive note:

Navigators’ Chief Executive Officer Stan Galanski commented, “We are very pleased with the second quarter results. Strong operating performance and improved investment valuations enabled us to increase book value 5% during the quarter.

One of the growing lines of business mentioned in the report and highlighted in the conference call was Director's and Liability insurance:

"Our Directors and Officers Liability business grew significantly as we continue to benefit from market dislocation and a flight to quality."

I believe that flight from troubled firms like AIG has benefited Navigators.

Other business lines such as construction related insurance did not show signs of improvement.

Overall this is a top notch P&C insurance firm. NAVG is conservative in writing insurance and refuses to chase unprofitable business. It concentrates on niches where it can have competitive advantage. It will grow and continue to prosper as the economy improves. It is not selling at an extreme bargain currently (around $50), but I would recommend purchases (as I have in the past year) if the price goes below $45.