Warren Buffett knows the insurance business like the back of his hand, and openly raves about how it allows companies to “invest in other people’s money and keep all the earnings on those investments,” writes Validea CEO John Reese in this week’s TheStreet.
In his 2015 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, however, Buffett says that underwriting profits generated from this “float” have been increasingly threatened due to low interest rates and keen competition in the industry.
He identifies the following four small-cap stocks that earn solid scores from his guru-based screening models:
- INTL FCStone (INTL), a financial services company, scores well based on a favorable price-sales ratio, price-earnings ratio and the stock’s relative strength.
- Maiden Holdings (MHLD), through its subsidiaries, provides reinsurance solutions for regional and specialty insurers. The company scores well based on the ratio of price-earnings to earnings-per-share growth (PEG ratio) as well as favorable return-on-equity.
- Selective Insurance (SIGI), an insurance holding company, is favored for its equity-assets, return-on-equity, and PEG ratios.
- Universal Insurance Holdings (UVE) is a private, personal residential homeowner’s insurance company with persistent EPS growth and favorable price-sales and PEG ratios.