The conf. call had some good points, but it was disappointing to me.
I didn't hear any "we screwed up" -- which they did, IMO -- by taking on mortgages that weren't properly documented. That lack of conservative underwriting was squarely in the company's hands and under their control. And they weren't on top of it. That's why we're in this mess now.
So, to refer to it as a cyclical thing that no one could foresee, and we should just all ride it out together, isn't very forthright. And nobody questioned that in the c.c.
The mortgage/title side might not be the bulk of the business, but it sure ate up the bulk of the profits.
It will come down to the dividend. If it's safe, we'll eventually find some support. If it's cut, the stock price will be single digits. I don't have an opinion on it right now, but we're not out of the woods.
Just too much complacency in the c.c. for my taste. We're suppose to ride it out until 2010. If you're a highly paid CEO, that's easy enough to do. I wonder if Wall Street will feel the same way. I hope so.
yeah - he didn't really inspire with the corny, midwestern phrases - like Title just moseying along.....and the caller Q's were not too enlightening (do they screen these folks).....however, with book at, what 19.5 ( i don't think there is alot of potential write-downs on the asset side), they can keep divs going out of book....yes, I know, that is getting back my own money at 0% but IMO even if they have a deficit of .05 pps per Q over 3 years, that still leaves book at close to 19 and the potential for pps to double over 5-7 years without alot of principal loss risk
Thanks for the summary, it's helpful to know. A bit surprising from a company whose quarterly reports are usually the picture of clarity and simplicity. It's not enough to obfuscate and parse. I am a long term holder of the stock and have been adding to my position as it's tumbled from 19 down to 15. I would be surprised if they put in jeopardy the (I think?) 30+ year streak of boosting the dividend payment but might instead opt for a very very modest boost (like .25 per quarter).
Thanks again for the information. Long term, I think ORI is a solid company with a proven track record, so for now, my faith is unshaken (and if Buffett wanted to swoop in and acquire, I wouldn't complain either!)