I use a computer search tool to find companies with very consistently rising earnings.
After finding 10 or 15 companies of this sort I evaluate them by hand. ITIC is the only insurance company on the list. There are quite a few banks, some manuafacturers, a restaurant, an oil services company etc. It seemed to me that ITIC, being financial, was more similar to banks than the other companies. Two of the bank stocks had EPS growth almost identical to ITIC and similar P/E so I bought those too.
I expect the previously existing trend of rising stock price with all three to continue at exactly the same rate for at least another year. I have no idea whether my analysis actually "works". So I buy the stocks and see what happens. Time will tell.
I agree with you that the fundamentals look good. They are expanding their market through work with bank owned agencies. My problem is I bought at the 52 week high. Don't understand why it didn't hold. Still, I thonk the company has a lot of opportunity. Especially in this strong real estate market.
I wouldn't bail on ITIC just yet- they have a solid balance sheet and are expanding into new markets. You have to be patient with title insurance stocks and accept that their growth rates are strongly correlated with interest rates. On the other hand, because of state and federal regulations, most of them have fortress like balance sheets and miniscule claims payout ratios compared to property and casualty insurers. As for your method of picking stocks, I must award it "Gutsiest Method" of the year!!