Just thinking here, but perhaps investors have finally come to realize that low interest rates aren't going to kill the lifeco's and are feeling more comfortable investing in them. You are hearing positive noises from a bunch of them these days.
The rise in NWLI was capped in the low $150's back in July, February and last October. Hopefully this is the time it actually breaks out. If it does, looks like the next level it should hit is $175 (according to my limited chart reading abilities).
I think that perhaps the selling is done and everyone who wanted out is out and now the natural buying takes is up. The last quarter was good, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary.
Well, I respectfully disagree about the potential importance of short sellers to the recent rise of NWLI's stock price. Yahoo reports that at 10-31-12 there was a short position of 51,000 shares and that NWLI's trading volume was less than 5,000 shares per day so that the short position was equal to 12 days of trading. We do not know how many shorts have covered, but the potential could make a fairly important difference to this thinly traded stock in the short term. I say this because, in my opinion, this stock was grossly undervalued and that the short position should be ZERO.
50k shares is nothing. look, i don't think anyone is complaining about the 11% rise in the price since earnings. the stock is cheap, there is no question. we all saw the results and was possible to purchase many thousands of shares at sub 140. but the reason to worry is that there will be no capital return to shareholders and so the time to buy this (in my opinion) is when there is selling. is the selling done? i hope so. but there has been a few false hopes in the past. it's about 5.50% position for me. if i had some conviction on roe and captial return it would be higher - probably up to 7-8% or so (in my personal account).
but there is no question the stock is cheap but lots of financials are very cheap. and others are trying to actively buy shares below fair value. not these guys.