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Old Republic International Corporation Message Board

  • johnbogen johnbogen Feb 21, 1999 6:04 AM Flag

    Excerpts from Barron's article on ORI

    Our heart never fails to leap up when we behold a
    group long dormant, if not
    moribund, showing signs
    of life.

    For what it's worth, we view the
    casualty insurers as among the few pockets
    opportunity in this market. The industry, of course, has been
    on its tail forever,
    and its famed underwriting
    cycle came to a grinding halt about eight or
    years ago at the very bottom of the downswing. Its
    Street following is extremely
    thin and the opposite
    of robust.

    All of which makes the casualty
    sector irresistible.

    Which leads inevitably to
    the question of which of these drowsy, shaggy
    looks intriguing.
    .... our old pal
    MacAllaster of Barron's Roundtable fame, who has a great gut
    feel for
    insurance stocks, we decided to slyly
    extract a recommendation from him.

    Actually we got
    two: Old Republic International and Safeco, both of
    he had plugged on occasion over the years in the
    pages of this magazine. He
    thinks they're both fine
    companies whose stocks have been unjustly
    irrationally driven way down from their highs.

    Republic's Chicago-based, and it has a heavily commerical
    book of
    business, as they say in the trade. It has
    been consistently profitable, and those
    most years have been higher than the year before. The
    stock has come
    down from above 32 last summer. Its
    current price is 18 and change, which is
    only a touch
    above book value.

    Archie says the shares are a
    raging bargain, selling for slightly over nine
    what he figures the company will earn this year.

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