Might be also because ANAT has a large P&C business - about 2/3 of premiums. Pretty much all the P&C companies have done better than the life companies and trade at higher valuations. They are seen as being lower risk as most of the insurance they sell is shorter term, so they can adjust their rates faster to reflect new claims conditions, but also the new low rate investment environment.
I think lifeco's are in the sweet spot now though with better valuations plus interest rates starting to move upwards.
Ross never seems to hold the shares. Not sure why, but my guess is that he'd rather have the cash to support his lifestyle and he knows he's getting daddy's majority share in the next few years.
I wouldn't read too much into it personally.
Robert Moody is the father and CEO who holds most of the shares in NWLI.
Ross Moody is the son and a pretty regular seller of shares. I think perhaps he does like living large and needs the cash to maintain his lifestyle.
Those options being purchased at $150.00 and then sold expired in early 2014, so I suspect they wanted to cash them in, but could not afford to take the shares and hold them.
Insiders generally don't do a lot of anything in this stock, and the next set of options does not expire until 2017.
I agree it is more difficult going overseas to understand financial reports, but I think it is worth making the effort these days. The European and emerging markets are much cheaper than the US, so should have better opportunities. The advantage to Europe is that the economies support rule of law and accounting uses IFRS, which is the global standard and similar to GAAP.
NWLI is still my largest position and should do very well over the next few years. It is probably one of the safest, most undervalued stocks around The big advantage of AEG is that it is somewhat cheaper than NWLI, but also has more shareholder friendly management. The big downside with NWLI is the lack of concern of management for shareholders. It is probably more risky, or I should say, was more risky in the past. Hopefully it is not now. But I also think there is a good chance investors will move it up faster due to it's dividend, etc.
So, not trying to hijack the board here, but sold 20% of my NWLI (it had just gotten too big) and moved it into AEGON - AEG.
There are a few cheaper US lifeco's than NWLI like PNX, but PNX has many issues so would stay away.
AEG on the other hand, trades at 40% of book as opposed to NWLI's 56%
AEG has a forward P/E of 8.8, NWLI's trailing is 8.9 (NWLI has no forward P/E)
AEG has a higher dividend yield of 3.6%
AEG's ROE and ROA are less than NWLI's, but that is not a bad thing as it provides scope for improvement which will drive higher earnings and share price. Management is focused on this and, while they recently announced a scale-back in goals, they have a plan to get there
AEG is one of the world's largest insurers. They are based in the Netherlands, but 70% of their business is in the U.S. through their TransAmerica subsidiary. So their success is based largely on the U.S. They did take some money from the Dutch government back in the financial crisis, but paid it back without using it. They are highly rated by all the rating agencies, so no real concerns about claims-paying abilities.
It is fairer to compare them to a larger insurer like a MFC or even a MET than NWLI due to their size and it does trade at a much cheaper P/B and P/S, again showing the potential upside if than can get their profitability back up to industry levels.
The other ironic thought I am having is that buying NWLI in Texas gives global/emerging markets exposure, so buying a European insurer is a good way to get U.S. exposure - perhaps that is another of the reasons they are both trading at low valuations.
No reason it can't go much higher Lots of valuation support, improving interest rate environment, better perception of lifeco's in the market. MET and PRU identified in Barron's this week as being some of the cheapest stocks.
Withe recent rise in rates, LQD (the investment grade ETF) is now the cheapest since the end of 2011, so higher yielding than any point of 2012. The current yield is 3.83% and is the best proxy for NWLI's investing in my experience.
According to NWLI's last quarterly, their expected yield for their portfolio going forward is 4.60%, so being able to reinvest at 3.83% going forward is not as big a hurdle as we saw last year where they were still able to generate good earnings.