I've owned a small bit of White Mountains for a while, and have watched OB for a few years. Started to buy some $13.50 area lately. But some of the intra swings are crazy. I got lucky today at $13.23 too. People probably wrongly thought OB would take a big hit from Japan earthquake. But they gtr rid of those areas last year and only have specialty markets now. I guess they do boat insurance. Maybe some thought if giant waves hit Calif it would hurt them.
But what I see is a focused Specialy insurer now. They got out of other Personal and PC lines. It is trading just above book value. earlier today it was yielding 6.30%. And it's profitable (but a slow grower). The balance sheet looks okay, and they lean conservative on their investments.
Their results aren't going to set the world on fire next few years. Growth won't be that big or fast. But a niche insurere now, just over book...6.3% yield..I think it's a nice place to park some dough. We're ex-dividend by 21 cents Tuesday...Think I'll take some more when it drops by the div amount.
You know, I just cannot be bothered anymore trying to save you people from yourselves.
But that doesn't mean you can just saunter in here, tracking mud on the carpets, cutting your toenails in the kitchen and shouting your inane gibberings at the top of your lungs. People are trying to sleep around here. Show a little respect. Not to be mean but, hey, shut up.
buying OB at close to book value, with a 6.25% dividend is not a bad do. I was very happy to get a handful of k between $13.23 and $13.40. When it goes ex div 15th, it will drop by 21 cents and I think will reboubd. OB is now a specialty insurer. No more PC lines or personal lines. The specialty lines aren't going to be barnburners of rapid growth, but they will grow slowly, and show far less swings in payouts. The businesses that OB sold last year had combined ratios of over 100. The specialty lines were in the low 90's. Combined ratios below 100 equal profits.
Book value at just over 13 provides a base. Merrill has said they would perhaps recommend OB if was close to book. Right now Merrill has OB at "underperform". I also think at book that OB will be buying back shares to retire. WTM will like that. OB last year was buying back shares in moid $14's. Why not now at low $13's?
And the 6.25% div will also prevent too much mpre of adowndraft.
So save yourself from yourself, nign dong. I'm already in the black on what I bought.