January 26, 2012 To the Shareholders and Directors of Fairholme Funds, Inc.:
What a horrible year for performance! Market prices plunged in many of our Funds��core holdings in spite of strengthening book values with huge reserving for legacy issues. Using the positions held in The Fairholme Fund, weighted for the Fund�� composition at the end of 2010 and 2011, the line graph on the next page illustrates this divergence in market prices to book values in the last two calendar years using the most recent, publicly available information for 2011 book values.* The Net Asset Values are as of December 31, 2010 and December 31, 2011. If the yearly change in The Fairholme Fund�� NAV reflects investor perceptions of future performance and if changes in underlying book values of portfolio companies approximate current economics, then markets in 2011 expected disaster in the midst of strength. Improving book value levels and ratios show companies recovering from tough times, prepared for uncertainty, and capable of profits without excess leverage. The Fund�� performance last year makes little sense in light of such positive trends and we can only hypothesize from public comments that investors did not fathom our financials��assets. There appears little understanding of how loan and insurance contracts age and run-off, bad begets good over time, and how U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) create undue quarterly volatility in book values.
Hot Insurance Stocks For 2014: Cigna Corp (CI)
Cigna Corporation (Cigna), incorporated on November 3, 1981, is a holding company. Cigna is a global health service company, with insurance subsidiaries that are providers of medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance and related products and services. In the United States, these products and services are offered through employers and other groups, and in selected international markets, Cigna offers supplemental health, life and accident insurance products and international health care coverage and services to businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations and individuals. The Company also has certain run-off operations, including a Run-off Reinsurance segment. Cigna�� revenues are derived from premiums, fees, mail order pharmacy, other revenues and investment income. Cigna operates in five segments: Health Care, Disability and Life, International, Run-off Reinsurance, and Other Operations, including Corporate-owned Life Insurance. On January 31, 2012, Cigna acquired HealthSpring, Inc. On November 30, 2011, the Company acquired FirstAssist Group Holdings Limited. In August 2012, the Company acquired Great American Supplemental Benefits from American Financial Group, Inc. In January 2013, the Company acquired select Arcadian and Humana Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. In September 2013, Cigna Corporation completed its acquisition of Alegis Care, a portfolio company of Triton Pacific Capital Partners. Effective September 3, 2013, Cigna Corp acquired Home Physicians Management LLC.
Cigna�� Health Care segment (Cigna HealthCare) offers insured and self-insured medical, dental, behavioral health, vision, and prescription drug benefit plans, health advocacy programs and other products and services that may be integrated to provide health care benefit programs. Cigna HealthCare companies offer these products and services in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the United States Virgin Islands. Cigna offers a ! range of products and services to employers and other groups that sponsor group health plans. With the exception of Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Medicare, Voluntary and stop loss products, each of Cigna HealthCare�� products is offered with alternative funding options. Cigna may sell multiple products under the same funding arrangement to the same employer. Approximately 85% of the Company�� medical customers are enrolled in self-insured plans, with the remainder split between guaranteed cost and experience-rated insured plans. Approximately 90% of its medical customers are enrolled in self-insured and experience-rated plans. Cigna also offers guaranteed cost medical and dental insurance to individuals. Cigna HealthCare offers a product line of indemnity managed care benefit plans on an insured (guaranteed cost or experience-rated) or self-insured basis. The Network, Network Open Access, and Open Access Plus In-Network products cover only those services provided by Cigna HealthCare participating health care professionals (in-network) and emergency services provided by non-participating health care professionals (out-of-network). The Network point of service (POS), Network POS Open Access and Open Access Plus plans (OAP) cover health care services provided by participating, and non-participating health care professionals.
Cigna HealthCare offers a Preferred Provider Plans (PPO) product line that features a national network. Like Network and Open Access Plus Plans, the PPO product line is offered on an insured (guaranteed cost or experience-rated) or self-insured basis. Cigna HealthCare offers the Cigna Choice Fund suite of products, including Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). Cigna HealthCare offers stop loss insurance coverage for self-insured plans. This stop loss coverage reimburses the plan for claims in excess of a predetermined amount, either for individuals (specific) or the entire group (aggregate), ! or both. ! Cigna HealthCare provides Taft-Hartley trusts and other entities access to its national provider network and provides claim re-pricing and other services. Cigna HealthCare�� voluntary medical products are offered to employers with 51 or more eligible employees. As a result of the acquisition of HealthSpring, Cigna operates Medicare Advantage coordinated care plans in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Under the Medicare program, Medicare-eligible beneficiaries may receive health care benefits, including prescription drugs, through a managed care health plan, such as the Company�� coordinated care plans, and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimburse the Company pursuant to a risk adjustment payment methodology.
Cigna�� Medicare Part D prescription drug program, Cigna Medicare Rx, provides a number of plan options, as well as service and information support to Medicare and Medicaid eligible customers. Cigna Medicare Rx is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Cigna HealthCare offers medical management, disease management, and other health advocacy services to employers and other plan sponsors. These services are offered to customers covered under Cigna HealthCare administered plans, as well as individuals covered under plans insured and/or administered by competing insurers/third-party administrators. Cigna�� onsite services include more than 75 health centers and the annual administration of more than 400,000 biometric screenings, as well as approximately 2,200 wellness seminars each year. As a result of the acquisition of HealthSpring, Cigna operates three LivingWell Health Centers, where Medicare customers can receive care from physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, and nurses educators. Cigna arranges for behavioral health care services for customers through its network of participating behavioral health care professionals. Cigna offers behavioral health care case management services, employee assistance programs (EAP), and wor! k/life pr! ograms to employers, Government entities and other groups sponsoring health benefit plans. As of December 31, 2011, Cigna�� behavioral national network had approximately 108,000 access points to psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers and approximately 9,000 facilities and clinics.
Cigna Pharmacy Management offers prescription drug plans to its insured and self-funded customers both in conjunction with its medical products and on a stand-alone basis. With a network of over 62,000 contracted pharmacies, Cigna Pharmacy Management is a pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) offering clinical integration programs, specialty pharmacy solutions and home delivery of prescription medicines. Cigna�� specialty pharmacy outcome management program, TheraCare, manages specialty conditions. TheraCare is coordinated with other Cigna health advocacy programs and all data is captured for analysis and reporting. Cigna Dental Health offers a variety of dental care products, including dental health maintenance organization plans (Dental HMO), dental preferred provider organization (DPPO) plans, dental exclusive provider organization plans, traditional dental indemnity plans and a dental discount program. As of December 31, 2011, Cigna Dental Health customers totaled approximately 10.9 million. Managed dental care products are offered in 38 states for Dental HMO and 43 states and the District of Columbia for Dental PPO through a network of independent health care professionals that have contracted with Cigna Dental Health to provide dental services. Cigna Dental Health customers access care from the dental PPO network in the United States and one of the dental HMO networks in the United States, with approximately 235,500 DPPO-contracted access points (approximately 92,000 health care professionals) and approximately 58,000 dental HMO-contracted access points (approximately 16,500 health care professionals).
Disability and Life
Cigna�� Disability and Life segment (Cign! a Disabil! ity and Life) provides insurance products and their related services, such as group long-term and short-term disability insurance, group life insurance and accident and specialty insurance. These products and services are provided by subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation. Cigna Disability and Life markets products in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands and Canada. Cigna Disability and Life also provides assistance to employees in returning to work and assistance to their employers in managing the cost of employee disability. Cigna Disability and Life offers personal accident insurance coverage, which consists primarily of accidental death and dismemberment and travel accident insurance to employers. Group accident insurance may be employer-paid or employee-paid. Cigna Disability and Life also offers specialty insurance services that consist primarily of disability and life, accident, and hospital indemnity products to professional or trade associations and financial institutions.
CIGNA�� International segment (CIGNA International) offers supplemental health, life and accident insurance products, as well as international health care products and services. These products and services are provided by subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including foreign operating entities. Cigna International provides employers, affinity groups and individuals with local and global health care and related financial protection programs. Supplemental health products provide a specified payment for a range of health risks and include personal accident, accidental death, critical illness, hospitalization, travel, dental, cancer and other dread disease coverages. Term life, as well as variable universal life insurance and other savings products are also included in the product portfolio. Cigna International�� supplemental health, life and accident insurance products are offered in South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the European Un! ion, Chin! a, New Zealand, Thailand and Turkey. In China, Cigna International owns a 50% interest in a joint venture through, which its products and services are offered. Cigna International�� health care businesses primarily consist of products and services to meet the needs of local and multinational companies and organizations and their local and globally mobile employees and dependents. These products and services include insurance and administrative services for medical, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment, and disability risks. In addition, Cigna International�� health care businesses include products and services, which are primarily provided through group benefits programs to employees of businesses and other organizations in the United Kingdom and Spain. These products and services include medical indemnity insurance coverage, with some offerings having managed care or administrative service aspects.
Cigna�� reinsurance segment reinsured guaranteed minimum death benefits (GMDB) (also known as variable annuity death benefits (VADBe)), under certain variable annuities issued by other insurance companies. These variable annuities are investments in mutual funds combined with a death benefit. The Company purchased retrocessional protection that covers approximately 5% of the assumed risks. The Company also maintains a dynamic hedge program. Cigna also reinsured guaranteed minimum income benefits (GMIB) under certain variable annuities issued by other insurance companies. These variable annuities are investments in mutual funds combined with minimum income and death benefits. These products under Cigna�� Run-off Reinsurance segment were sold principally in North America and Europe through a sales force and through intermediaries.
The principal products of the Corporate-owned Life Insurance (COLI) business are permanent insurance contracts sold to corporations to provide coverage on the lives ! of certai! n employees for the purpose of funding employer-paid future benefit obligations. The principal services provided by the COLI business are issuance and administration of the insurance policies. COLI policies provide a death benefit for which Cigna collects fees to cover mortality risk. COLI policies also allow policy owners to borrow against a portion of their cash surrender value.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Keith Speights]
Anthem, which is owned by WellPoint (NYSE: WLP ) , for example, required prior authorizations only 2.14% of the time. Cigna (NYSE: CI ) and Aetna (NYSE: AET ) have higher frequencies -- 4.74% and 5.42%, respectively. Humana (NYSE: HUM ) is even higher, but still in the single digits with a 8.42% prior authorization rate. Of the publicly traded insurers, only UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH ) requires prior authorizations more than 10% of the time, with a rate of 12.43%.
- [By Sean Williams]
For instance, what if many of the national health insurers choose not to participate in many of the state exchanges? In May, California unveiled the participants in its state-run exchange. Of the 13 health-benefits providers, notably absent was UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH ) , Aetna (NYSE: AET ) , and CIGNA (NYSE: CI ) . Although these three insurers dominate the commercial side of the business and only maintain 7% of the cumulative individual insurance market in California, it seems rather ominous to me that they would pass on their chance to compete in California's huge patient pool. Furthermore, it points to the growing skepticism that many insurers (even the big ones) have about the upcoming implementation of Obamacare and the initiation of state exchanges.
- [By Monica Wolfe]
David Einhorn�� fifth largest position is in Cigna Corp where he holds 4,974,174 shares, representing 1.74% of the company�� shares outstanding and 6.8% of his total portfolio.
- [By Michael A. Robinson]
So, it's a pretty safe bet that if a health insurer like Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) or Blue Cross Blue Shield messed up this badly, heads would roll.
For Sebelius and even for Obama himself, the problem actually runs much deeper than it appears.
Hot Insurance Stocks For 2014: Triad Guaranty Inc (TGICQ)
Triad Guaranty Inc., incorporated in 1993, is a holding company which, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Triad Guaranty Insurance Corporation (TGIC), is a nationwide mortgage insurer. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Collateral Mortgage, Ltd. (CHL) owns 16.8% of the common stock of TGI. The Company has historically provided Primary and Modified Pool mortgages guaranty insurance coverage on United States residential mortgage loans.
Primary insurance provides mortgage default protection to lenders on individual loans and covers a percentage of unpaid loan principal, delinquent interest and certain expenses associated with the default and subsequent foreclosure (collectively, the insured amount or claim amount). Primary insurance was written on both flow and structured bulk transactions. Flow transactions consisted of loans originated by lenders that were submitted to the Company on a loan-by-loan basis, whereas structured bulk transactions involved underwriting and insuring a group of loans with individual coverage for each loan. Insurance on primary policies consists of 80% of the Company's total insurance in force at December 31, 2011.
Modified Pool insurance was written only on structured bulk transactions. Policies insured as part of a Modified Pool transaction have individual coverage, but an aggregate stop-loss limit applies to the entire group of insured loans. In addition, some of the Modified Pool transactions included deductibles representing a percentage of the total risk originated under which the Company pays no claims until the losses exceed the deductible amount. Modified Pool insurance consists of 20% of the Company's total insurance in force at December 31, 2011.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Zachary Tracer]
Mortgage insurers PMI and Triad Guaranty Inc. (TGICQ) filed for bankruptcy after housing crashed. Old Republic International Corp. also retreated from the mortgage guaranty business.
Top China Stocks To Own Right Now: Muenchener Rueckversicherungs Gesellschaft AG in Muenchen (MUV2)Muenchener Rueckversicherungs Gesellschaft AG in Muenchen is a Germany-based holding company engaged in reinsurance and insurance business fields. The Company diversifies its operations into reinsurance, primary insurance, Munich Health and Asset management. The Reinsurance business comprises five divisions: Life; Europe and Latin America; Germany, Asia Pacific and Africa; Special and Financial Risks, and Global Clients and North America. The business covers a range of products from traditional reinsurance products to solutions for risk assumption. The Company's primary insurance activities are combined into the ERGO Insurance Group (ERGO) and offers direct insurance, life, property-casualty, health, legal expenses and travel insurance products. It covers the Company's international health reinsurance business and health primary insurance outside Germany and engages the risk management services. The Asset management business handles the investment activities of Munich Re and ERGO. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonathan Morgan]
Munich Re (MUV2), the world�� biggest reinsurer, dropped 4.9 percent to 145.25 euros after it said second-quarter profit fell 35 percent, missing analysts��estimates, as claims arising from natural disasters rose. Net income dropped to 529 million euros from 808 million euros a year earlier, trailing the 557.1 million-euro average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Hot Insurance Stocks For 2014: Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.B)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire) is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in a number of diverse business activities. The Company is engaged in insurance businesses conducted on both a primary basis and a reinsurance basis. Berkshire also owns and operates a number of other businesses engaged in a variety of activities. On December 30, 2011, Medical Protective Corporation (MedPro) completed the acquisition of 100% of the Princeton Insurance Company, a professional liability insurer for healthcare providers based in Princeton, New Jersey. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Acme Building Brands (Acme) acquired the assets of Jenkins Brick Company, the brick manufacturer in Alabama. In September 2011, Berkshire acquired The Lubrizol Corporation (Lubrizol). In June 2011, the Company acquired Wesco Financial Corporation. In June 2012, Media General, Inc. sold 63 daily and weekly newspapers to World Media Enterprises, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire. In July 2012, Berkshire�� The Lubrizol Corporation acquired Lipotec SA.
Insurance and Reinsurance Businesses
Berkshire�� insurance and reinsurance business activities are conducted through numerous domestic and foreign-based insurance entities. Berkshire�� insurance businesses provide insurance and reinsurance of property and casualty risks world-wide and also reinsure life, accident and health risks world-wide. Berkshire�� insurance underwriting operations are consisted of the sub-groups, including GEICO and its subsidiaries, General Re and its subsidiaries, Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group and Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group. GEICO insurance subsidiaries include Government Employees Insurance Company, GEICO General Insurance Company, GEICO Indemnity Company and GEICO Casualty Company. These companies primarily offers private passenger automobile insurance to individuals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, GEICO insures motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, recreational vehicles and s! mall commercial fleets and acts as an agent for other insurers who offer homeowners, boat and life insurance to individuals. GEICO markets its policies primarily through direct response methods in which applications for insurance are submitted directly to the companies through the Internet or by telephone.
General Re Corporation (General Re) is the holding company of General Reinsurance Corporation (GRC) and its subsidiaries and affiliates. GRC�� subsidiaries include General Reinsurance AG, a international reinsurer based in Germany. General Re subsidiaries conduct business activities globally in 51 cities and provide insurance and reinsurance coverages throughout the world. General Re provides property/casualty insurance and reinsurance, life/health reinsurance and other reinsurance intermediary and risk management, underwriting management and investment management services.
General Re�� property/casualty reinsurance business in North America is conducted through GRC. Property/casualty operations in North America are also conducted through 16 branch offices in the United States and Canada. Reinsurance activities are marketed directly to clients without involving a broker or intermediary. General Re�� property/casualty business in North America also includes specialty insurers (primarily the General Star and Genesis companies domiciled in Connecticut and Ohio). These specialty insurers underwrite primarily liability and workers��compensation coverages on an excess and surplus basis and excess insurance for self-insured programs. General Re�� international property/casualty reinsurance business operations are conducted through internationally-based subsidiaries on a direct basis (through General Reinsurance AG, as well as several other General Re subsidiaries in 25 countries) and through brokers (primarily through Faraday, which owns the managing agent of Syndicate 435 at Lloyd�� of London and provides capacity and particip! ates in 1! 00% of the results of Syndicate 435).
General Re�� North American and international life, health, long-term care and disability reinsurance coverages are written on an individual and group basis. Most of this business is written on a proportional treaty basis, with the exception of the United States group health and disability business which is predominately written on an excess treaty basis. Lesser amounts of life and disability business are written on a facultative basis. The life/health business is marketed on a direct basis. The Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group (BHRG) operates from offices located in Stamford, Connecticut. Business activities are conducted through a group of subsidiary companies, led by National Indemnity Company (NICO) and Columbia Insurance Company (Columbia). BHRG provides principally excess and quota-share reinsurance to other property and casualty insurers and reinsurers. BHRG�� underwriting activities also include life reinsurance and life annuity business written through Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska and financial guaranty insurance written through Berkshire Hathaway Assurance Corporation.
BHRG writes catastrophe excess-of-loss treaty reinsurance contracts. BHRG also writes individual policies for primarily large or otherwise unusual discrete risks on both an excess direct and facultative reinsurance basis, referred to as individual risk, which includes policies covering terrorism, natural catastrophe and aviation risks. A catastrophe excess policy provides protection to the counterparty from the accumulation of primarily property losses arising from a single loss event or series of related events. Catastrophe and individual risk policies may provide amounts of indemnification per contract and a single loss event may produce losses under a number of contracts. BHRG also underwrites traditional non-catastrophe insurance and reinsurance coverages, referred to as multi-line property/c! asualty b! usiness.
The Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group is a collection of primary insurance operations that provide a variety of insurance coverages to insureds located principally in the United States. NICO and certain affiliates underwrite motor vehicle and general liability insurance to commercial enterprises on both an admitted and excess and surplus basis. This business is written nationwide primarily through insurance agents and brokers and is based in Omaha, Nebraska. U.S. Investment Corporation (USIC), through its three subsidiaries led by United States Liability Insurance Company, is a specialty insurer that underwrites commercial, professional and personal lines of insurance on an admitted and excess and surplus basis. Policies are marketed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through wholesale and retail insurance agents. USIC companies underwrite and market 109 distinct specialty property and casualty insurance products. Medical Protective Corporation (MedPro) is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Through its subsidiary, the Medical Protective Company, MedPro is engaged in primary medical professional liability coverage and risk solutions to physicians, dentists, other healthcare providers and healthcare facilities.
Through BNSF Railway, BNSF operates a railroad network in North America with approximately 32,000 route miles of track (excluding multiple main tracks, yard tracks and sidings) in 28 states and two Canadian provinces as of December 31, 2011. BNSF owns approximately 23,000 route miles, including easements, and operates on approximately 9,000 route miles of trackage rights that permit BNSF to operate its trains with its crews over other railroads��tracks. As of December 31, 2011, the total BNSF Railway system, including single and multiple main tracks, yard tracks and sidings, consisted of approximately 50,000 operated miles of track, all of which are owned by or held under easement by BNSF except for approximately 10,000 route! miles op! erated under trackage rights.
BNSF is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and through BNSF Railway Company operates railroad systems in North America. In serving the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Western, Southwestern and Southeastern regions and ports of the country, BNSF transports a range of products and commodities derived from manufacturing, agricultural and natural resource industries. In serving the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Western, Southwestern and Southeastern regions and ports of the country, BNSF transports a range of products and commodities derived from manufacturing, agricultural and natural resource industries. Over half of the freight revenues of BNSF are covered by contractual agreements of varying durations. BNSF�� primary routes, including trackage rights, allow it to access cities and ports in the western and southern United States as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. In addition to cities and ports, BNSF efficiently serves many smaller markets by working closely with approximately 200 shortline partners. BNSF has also entered into marketing agreements with other rail carriers, expanding the marketing reach for each railroad and their customers.
Utilities and Energy Businesses
MidAmerican�� businesses are managed as separate operating units. MidAmerican�� domestic regulated energy interests are comprised of two regulated utility companies serving more than three million retail customers and two interstate natural gas pipeline companies with approximately 16,600 miles of pipeline and a design capacity of approximately 7.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Its United Kingdom electricity distribution subsidiaries serve about 3.9 million electricity end-users. In addition, MidAmerican�� interests include a diversified portfolio of domestic independent power projects, a hydroelectric facility in the Philippines and residential real estate brokerage firm in the United States.
PacifiCorp is a regulated electric utility compa! ny headqu! artered in Oregon, serving regulated retail electric customers in portions of Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho and California. The combined service territory�� diverse regional economy ranges from rural, agricultural and mining areas to urban, manufacturing and government service centers. As a vertically integrated electric utility, PacifiCorp owns approximately 10,600 net megawatts of generation capacity. MidAmerican Energy Company (MEC) is a regulated electric and natural gas utility company headquartered in Iowa, serving regulated retail electric and natural gas customers primarily in Iowa and also in portions of Illinois, South Dakota and Nebraska. MEC has a diverse customer base consisting of residential, agricultural and a variety of commercial and industrial customer groups. In addition to retail sales and natural gas transportation, MEC sells regulated electricity to markets operated by regional transmission organizations and regulated electricity and natural gas to other utilities and market participants on a wholesale basis and sells non-regulated electricity and natural gas services in deregulated markets. As a vertically integrated electric and gas utility, MEC owns approximately 7,000 net megawatts of generation capacity.
The natural gas pipelines consist of Northern Natural Gas Company (Northern Natural) and Kern River Gas Transmission Company (Kern River). Northern Natural is based in Nebraska and owns interstate natural gas pipeline systems in the United States reaching from southern Texas to Michigan�� Upper Peninsula. Northern Natural�� pipeline system consists of approximately 14,900 miles of natural gas pipelines. Northern Natural has access to supplies from mid-continent basin and provides transportation services to utilities and numerous other customers. Northern Natural also operates three underground natural gas storage facilities and two liquefied natural gas storage peaking units.
Kern River is based in Utah and owns an interstate natural! gas pipe! line system that consists of approximately 1,700 miles and extends from the supply areas in the Rocky Mountains to consuming markets in Utah, Nevada and California. Kern River transports natural gas for electric utilities and natural gas distribution utilities, oil and natural gas companies or affiliates of such companies, electricity generating companies, energy marketing and trading companies, and financial institutions. The United Kingdom utilities consist of Northern Powergrid (Northeast) Limited (Northern Powergrid (Northeast)) and Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) plc (Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire)), which own a substantial United Kingdom electricity distribution network that delivers electricity to end-users in northeast England in an area covering approximately 10,000 square miles. The distribution companies primarily charge supply companies regulated tariffs for the use of electrical infrastructure. MidAmerican also owns HomeServices of America, Inc. (HomeServices), a full-service residential real estate brokerage firm in the United States. HomeServices also offers integrated real estate services, including mortgage originations through a joint venture, title and closing services, property and casualty insurance, home warranties, relocation services and other home-related services. It operates under 22 residential real estate brand names with over 14,000 sales associates and in nearly 300 brokerage offices in 20 states.
Manufacturing, Service and Retailing Businesses
Berkshire�� numerous and diverse manufacturing, service and retailing businesses. Marmon consists of approximately 140 manufacturing and service businesses that operate independently within eleven diverse, stand-alone business sectors. These sectors are Building Wire, Crane Services, Distribution Services, Engineered Wire and Cable, Flow Products, Food Service Equipment, Highway Technologies, Industrial Products, Retail Store Fixtures, Transportation Services and Engineered Products and Water Treatment.! p>!
Building Wire, providing copper electrical building wire for residential, commercial and industrial construction. Crane Services provides the leasing and operation of mobile cranes primarily to the energy, mining and petrochemical markets. Distribution Services, supplying specialty metal pipe and tubing, bar and sheet products to markets including construction, industrial, aerospace and many others. Engineered Wire & Cable, providing electrical and electronic wire and cable for energy related markets and other industries. Flow Products is producing copper tube for the plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, and industrial markets. Food Service Equipment is supplying commercial food preparation equipment for restaurants and shopping carts for retail stores. Highway Technologies, primarily serving the heavy-duty highway transportation industry with trailers, fifth wheel coupling devices and undercarriage products such as brake parts and suspension systems, and also serving the light vehicle aftermarket with clutches and related products.
Industrial Products, consisting of metal fasteners for the building, furniture, cabinetry, industrial and other markets, gloves for industrial markets, portable lighting equipment for mining and safety markets, overhead electrification equipment for mass transit systems, custom-machined brass, aluminum and copper forgings for the construction, valve and other industries, brass fittings and valves for commercial and industrial applications, and drawn aluminum tubing and extruded aluminum shapes for the construction, automotive, appliance, medical and other markets . Retail Store Fixtures, providing shelving and other merchandising displays and related services for retail stores worldwide. Transportation Services & Engineered Products, including manufacturing, leasing and maintenance of railroad tank cars, leasing of intermodal tank containers, in-plant rail services, manufacturing of bi-modal railcar movers, wheel, axle ! and gear ! sets for light rail transit and gear products for locomotives, manufacturing of steel tank heads, and services, equipment and technology for processing and distributing sulfur. Water Treatment, equipment including residential water softening, purification and refrigeration filtration systems, treatment systems for industrial markets including power generation, oil and gas, chemical, and pulp and paper, gear drives for irrigation systems and cooling towers, and air-cooled heat exchangers. Marmon operates approximately 300 manufacturing, distribution and service facilities that are primarily located in North America, Europe and China, and employs more than 16,000 people worldwide.
McLane Company, Inc. (McLane) provides wholesale distribution and logistics services in all 50 states and internationally in Brazil to customers that include discount retailers, convenience stores, wholesale clubs, quick service restaurants, drug stores and military bases. Operations are divided into five business units: grocery distribution, foodservice distribution, beverage distribution, international logistics and software development. McLane�� foodservice distribution unit, based in Carrollton, Texas, focuses on serving the quick service restaurant industry. Operations are conducted through 18 facilities in 16 states. The foodservice distribution unit services more than 20,000 chain restaurants nationwide.
Other Manufacturing, Other Service and Retailing Businesses
Berkshire�� apparel manufacturing businesses include manufacturers of a variety of clothing and footwear. Businesses engaged in the manufacture and distribution of clothing products include Fruit of the Loom, Inc. (Fruit), Russell Brands, LLC (Russell), Vanity Fair Brands, LP (VFB), Garan and Fechheimer Brothers. Berkshire�� footwear businesses include H.H. Brown Shoe Group, Justin Brands and Brooks Athletic. Fruit, Russell and VFB (together FOL) is primarily a vertically integrated manufacturer and distributor of ba! sic appar! el, underwear and athletic apparel and products. Products, under the Fruit of the Loomand JERZEES labels are primarily sold in the mass merchandise and wholesale markets. In the VFB product line, Vassarette, Bestformand Curvationare sold in the mass merchandise market, while Vanity Fairand Lily of Franceproducts are sold in the mid-tier chains and department stores. FOL also markets and sells athletic uniforms, apparel, sports equipment and balls to team dealers; college licensed tee shirts and fleecewear to college bookstores and mid-tier merchants; and athletic apparel, sports equipment and balls to sporting goods retailers under the Russell Athleticand Spaldingbrands. Additionally, Spaldingmarkets and sells balls in the mass merchandise market and dollar store channel. During the year ended December, 31, 2011, approximately 30% of FOL�� sales were to Wal-Mart. FOL generally performs its own spinning, knitting, cloth finishing, cutting, sewing and packaging.
Garan designs, manufactures, imports and sells apparel primarily for children, including boys, girls, toddlers and infants. Products are sold under its own trademark Garanimalsand private labels of its customers. Garan also licenses its registered trademark Garanimalsto independent third parties. Garan conducts its business through operating subsidiaries located in the United States, Central America and Asia. Substantially all of Garan�� products are sold through its distribution centers in the United States to national chain stores, department stores and specialty stores. In 2011, over 90% of Garan�� sales were to Wal-Mart. Fechheimer Brothers manufactures, distributes and sells uniforms, principally for the public service and safety markets, including police, fire, postal and military markets. Fechheimer Brothers is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Justin Brands and H.H. Brown Shoe Group manufacture and distribute work, rugged outdoor and casual shoes and western-style footwear under a number of brand names, including! Justin, ! Tony Lama, Nocona, Chippewas, Born, Sofft, Carolina, Double-H Boots, Corcoran, Matterhornand Kork-Ease. Brooks Athletic markets and sells running footwear to specialty retailers under Brooksbrand. In 2011, Brooksachieved #1 market share in footwear with specialty retailers. A volume of the shoes sold by Berkshire�� shoe businesses are manufactured or purchased from sources outside the United States. Products are principally sold in the United States through a variety of channels including department stores, footwear chains, specialty stores, catalogs and the Internet, as well as through Company-owned retail stores.
Acme manufactures and distributes clay bricks (Acme Brickand Jenkins Brick), concrete block (Featherlite) and cut limestone (Texas Quarries). In addition, Acme distributes a number of other building products of other manufacturers, including glass block, floor and wall tile and other masonry products. Acme also sells ceramic floor and wall tile, as well as marble, granite and other stones through its subsidiary, American Tile and Stone. Products are sold primarily in the South Central and South Eastern United States through Company-operated sales offices. Acme distributes products primarily to homebuilders and masonry and general contractors.
Benjamin Moore & Co. (Benjamin Moore) is a formulator, manufacturer and retailer of a range of architectural coatings, available principally in the United States and Canada. Products include water-thinnable and solvent-thinnable general purpose coatings (paints, stains and clear finishes) for use by the general public, contractors and industrial and commercial users. Products are marketed under various registered brand names, including Regal, Superspec, Moorcraft, Moorgard, Aura, Nattura, ben, Coronado Paint, Insl-xand Lenmar.
Benjamin Moore and its manufacturing subsidiaries rely primarily on an independent dealer network for the distribution of its products. Its distribution network includes approximately 100! Company-! owned stores as well as over 4,500 third party retailers representing over 10,300 storefronts in the United States and Canada. Benjamin Moore�� Company-owned stores represent several multiple-outlet and stand-alone retailers in various parts of the United States and Canada serving primarily contractors and general consumers. The independent retailer channel offers an array of products including Benjamin Mooreand Insl-xbrands and other competitor coatings, wallcoverings, window treatments and sundries. Benjamin Moore also has three color stations located in regional malls that serve as brand marketing tools. In addition to the independent retailer channel, Benjamin Moore has recently begun to sell direct to the consumer through e-commerce sites and its customer care program, which includes national accounts and government agencies.
Johns Manville (JM) is a manufacturer and marketer of products for building insulation, mechanical insulation, commercial roofing and roof insulation, as well as fibers and nonwovens for commercial, industrial and residential applications. JM serves markets that include aerospace, automotive and transportation, air handling, appliance, HVAC, pipe and equipment filtration, waterproofing, building, flooring, interiors and wind energy. Fiber glass is the basic material in a majority of JM�� products, although JM also manufactures a portion of its products with other materials to satisfy the broader needs of its customers. JM regards its patents and licenses as valuable, however it does not consider any of its businesses to be materially dependent on any single patent or license. JM is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and operates 40 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China and conducts research and development at several other facilities. JM sells its products through a variety of channels, including contractors, distributors, retailers, manufacturers and fabricators.
MiTek is a provider of engineered connector products, engine! ering sof! tware and services and computer-driven manufacturing machinery to the truss fabrication segment of the building components industry. Primary customers are truss fabricators who manufacture pre-fabricated roof and floor trusses and wall panels for the residential building market, as well as the light commercial and institutional construction industry. MiTek also participates in the light gauge steel framing market under the Ultra-Spanname, manufactures and markets assembly line machinery used by the lead acid battery industry, manufactures and markets a line of masonry connector products and manufactures and markets air handling systems used in commercial building. MiTek operates on six continents with sales into approximately 90 countries. MiTek has 34 manufacturing facilities located in eleven countries and 45 sales/engineering offices located in 17 countries.
The Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (Shaw) is a carpet manufacturer based on both revenue and volume of production. Shaw designs and manufactures over 3,000 styles of tufted carpet, tufted and woven rugs, laminate and wood flooring for residential and commercial use under about 30 brand and trade names and under certain private labels. Shaw also provides installation services and sells ceramic and vinyl tile along with sheet vinyl. Shaw�� manufacturing operations are fully integrated from the processing of raw materials used to make fiber through the finishing of carpet. Shaw�� carpet, rugs and hard surface products are sold in a broad range of prices, patterns, colors and textures.
Shaw products are sold wholesale to over 40,000 retailers, distributors and commercial users throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico and are also exported to various overseas markets. Shaw�� wholesale products are marketed domestically by over 2,000 salaried and commissioned sales personnel directly to retailers and distributors and to national accounts. Shaw�� 10 carpet full-service distribution facilities, three hard surface an! d two rug! full-service distribution facilities and 24 redistribution centers, along with centralized management information systems, enable it to provide prompt efficient delivery of its products to both its retail customers and wholesale distributors.
Berkshire acquired an 80% interest in IMC International Metalworking Companies B.V. (IMC B.V.). Through its subsidiaries, IMC B.V. is a multinational manufacturers of consumable precision carbide metal cutting tools for applications in a range of industrial end markets under the brand names ISCAR, TaeguTec, Ingersoll, Tungaloy, Unitac, UOP It.te.diand Outiltec. IMC B.V.�� manufacturing facilities are located in Israel, United States, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, South Korea, China, India, Japan and Brazil. IMC B.V. has five primary product lines: milling tools, gripping tools, turning/thread tools, drilling tools and tooling. Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is a manufacturer of recreational vehicles, utility, cargo and office trailers, buses and pontoon boats, headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana. Its products are sold in the United States and Canada through an independent dealer network.
Scott Fetzer companies are a diversified group of 20 businesses that manufacture and distribute a variety of products for residential, industrial and institutional use. The two of these businesses are Kirby home cleaning systems and Campbell Hausfeld products. Albecca Inc. (Albecca), headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, does business primarily under the Larson-Juhlname. Albecca designs, manufactures and distributes a complete line of branded custom framing products, including wood and metal moulding, matboard, foamboard, glass, equipment and other framing supplies in the United States, Canada and 15 countries outside of North America. CTB International Corp. is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of systems used in the grain industry and in the production of poultry, hogs and eggs.
Lubrizol is a specialty chemical company that pro! duces and! supplies technologies for the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. Lubrizol operates two business sectors: Lubrizol Additives, which includes engine, driveline and industrial additive products and Lubrizol Advanced Materials, which includes personal and home care, engineered polymer and performance coating products. FlightSafety International Inc.(FlightSafety) is engaged primarily in the business of providing high technology training to operators of aircraft. FlightSafety�� training activities include advanced training for pilots of business and commercial aircraft; aircrew training for military and other government personnel; aircraft maintenance technician training; flight attendant and aircraft dispatcher training, and ab-initio (primary) pilot training to qualify individuals for private and commercial pilots��licenses. FlightSafety also develops classroom instructional systems and materials for use in its training business and for sale to others.
NetJets Inc. (NJ) is a provider of fractional ownership programs for general aviation aircraft. TTI, Inc. (TTI) is a global specialty distributor of passive, interconnect, electromechanical and discrete components used by customers in the manufacturing and assembling of electronic products. Business Wire provides electronic dissemination of full-text news releases daily to the media, online services and databases and the global investment community in 150 countries and 45 languages. Berkshire�� retailing businesses principally consist of several independently managed home furnishings and jewelry operations. The home furnishings businesses are the Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM), R.C. Willey Home Furnishings (R.C. Willey), Star Furniture Company (Star) and Jordan�� Furniture, Inc. (Jordan��). NFM, R.C. Willey, Star and Jordan�� each offer a wide selection of furniture, bedding and accessories. In addition, NFM and R.C. Willey sell a line of household appliances, electronics, computers and other home furnishings. N! FM, R.C. ! Willey, Star and Jordan�� also offer customer financing to complement their retail operations. An important feature of each of these businesses is their ability to control costs and to produce high business volume by offering value to their customers.
NFM operates its business from two retail complexes with almost one million square feet of retail space and sizable warehouse and administrative facilities in Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Kansas. NFM is a furniture retailer in each of its markets. NFM also owns Homemakers Furniture located in Des Moines, Iowa, which has approximately 215,000 square feet of retail space. R.C. Willey, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a home furnishings retailer in the Intermountain West region of the United States. R.C. Willey operates 11 retail stores, two retail clearance facilities and three distribution centers. Borsheim Jewelry Company, Inc. (Borsheims) operates from a single store located in Omaha, Nebraska. Borsheims is a high volume retailer of jewelry, watches, crystal, china, stemware, flatware, gifts and collectibles. Helzberg�� Diamond Shops, Inc. (Helzberg), based in North Kansas City, Missouri, operates a chain of 233 retail jewelry stores in 37 states, which includes approximately 550,000 square feet of retail space. Most of Helzberg�� stores are located in malls, lifestyle centers or power strip centers, and all stores operate under the name Helzberg Diamonds. The Ben Bridge Corporation (Ben Bridge Jeweler), based in Seattle, Washington, operates a chain of 70 upscale retail jewelry stores located in 11 states that are primarily in the Western United States. Three of its locations are concept stores that sell only PANDORA jewelry.
Finance and Financial Products
Clayton Homes, Inc. (Clayton) is a vertically integrated manufactured housing company. At December 31, 2011, Clayton operated 33 manufacturing plants in 12 states. Clayton�� homes are marketed in 48 states through a network of 1,333 retailers, inclu! ding 333 ! Company-owned home centers. Financing is offered through its finance subsidiaries to purchasers of Clayton�� manufactured homes as well as those purchasing homes from selected independent retailers. XTRA Corporation (XTRA), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a transportation equipment lessor operating under the XTRA Leasebrand name. XTRA manages a diverse fleet of approximately 83,000 units located at 63 facilities throughout the United States and two facilities in Canada. The fleet includes over-the-road and storage traileAdvisors' Opinion:
- [By Canadian Value]
Watch the video below as Horejsi discusses his first trip to the Berkshire (BRK.A)(BRK.B) annual meeting in 1980 that was attended by 12 people:
- [By Holly LaFon]
In business, primarily Robert Pamplin. The call in 1982 to Warren Buffett was critical in establishing the framework to endure longer term. The best thing I did was to energetically focus on that price-value-margin of safety approach. An example of how valuable the lessons proved: I had a client in 1985 who entrusted me with $1 million and we just sat down and we went through all the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B) annual reports and started attending the Berkshire meetings. That $1 million compounded to $6 million by 1992. Achieving those results while employing a systemic, low risk approach hooked me for life.
Hot Insurance Stocks For 2014: UnipolSai Assicurazioni SpA (US)UnipolSai Assicurazioni SpA, formerly Fondiaria SPA, is an Italy- based company engaged in financial sector. The Company is a result of the merger of Unipol Assicurazioni SpA, Milano Assicurazioni SpA and Premafin Finanziaria SpA into Fondiaria Sai SpA. The Company operates through approximately 3 000 agencies under brands, such as Unipol, Sai, La Fondaria, Milano, La Previdente, Nuova Maa and Sasa. UnipolSai Assicurazioni SpA specializes in non-life insurance, especially automobile insurance. Additionally, UnipolSai Assicurazioni SpA provides products which protect its clients against damage and accident in the field, such as work, home, travel, health, life, aviation, railway, fire, maritime and goods in transit, as well as reinsurance and legal protection. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Nicolas Johnson]
There are a couple of reasons money managers often advise Canadian investors to overcome their home-country bias and to put part of their assets abroad. One goal is to get a chance at higher returns by investing in expanding businesses or industries that are absent from our own stock exchanges. Canada's stock market represents only about 3.4% of the world's $62-trillion (US) in publicly traded companies. A second goal is to diversify wealth and reduce the vulnerability of one's portfolio to a collapse in the Canadian market.
- [By Norm Rothery]
More importantly, the company has a superb long-term growth record. It earned just over $25 (US) per share in 2003, and it should rake in almost $200 per share this year, according to S&P Capital IQ. In addition, the firm grew its tangible book value per share by an average of 17.4% annually over the past ten years, which is a record that very few companies can come close to matching.
- [By Chris Umiastowki]
Over the next three days, the company sold over nine million of the new iPhone models, breaking last year's record of five million when the iPhone 5 was launched. This tremendous unit growth is in stark contrast to the company's stock price, which has dropped from about $650 (US) last year, to below $500 now. And it's a major reason I'm still enthusiastic about the stock.
Hot Insurance Stocks For 2014: Principal Financial Group Inc(PFG)
Principal Financial Group, Inc. provides retirement savings, investment, and insurance products and services worldwide. The company?s Retirement and Investor Services segment provides retirement savings and related investment products and services, including a portfolio of asset accumulation products and services primarily to small and medium-sized businesses and individuals in the United States. This segment offers products and services to businesses for defined contribution pension plans, including 401(k) and 403(b) plans, defined benefit pension plans, nonqualified executive benefit plans, and employee stock ownership plan consulting services; and annuities, mutual funds, and bank products and services to the employees of its business customers and other individuals. Principal Financial Group?s Principal Global Investors segment offers a range of equity, fixed income, and real estate investments, as well as specialized overlay and advisory services to institutional inve stors. The company?s Principal International segment offers retirement products and services, annuities, mutual funds, institutional asset management, and life insurance accumulation products in Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, and Thailand. Principal Financial Group?s U.S. Insurance Solutions segment offers individual life insurance, as well as specialty benefits in the United States. Its individual life insurance products include universal and variable universal life insurance and traditional life insurance; and specialty benefit products comprise group dental and vision insurance, individual and group disability insurance, and group life insurance, as well as fee-for-service claims administration and wellness services. The company was founded in 1879 and is based in Des Moines, Iowa.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Michael Calia]
Principal Financial Group Inc.(PFG) said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 8.6%, touting its strong results for the period amid continued economic concern.
Hot Insurance Stocks For 2014: National Health Partners Inc (NHPR)
National Health Partners, Inc., incorporated on March 10, 1989, is a national healthcare membership organization that was formed to address the need for affordable healthcare nationwide. The Company creates, markets and sells membership programs targeted toward underserved markets in the healthcare industry through a national healthcare savings network called CARExpress. CARExpress is a network of over 1,000,000 participating hospitals, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other healthcare providers that have agreed to render their services and products to the Company's members at discounted prices. CARExpress enables the Company's members to engage in point-of-service transactions directly with participating healthcare providers and pay discounted prices.
The Company has designed membership programs that range from its traditional health discount programs that provide access to networks of providers that have agreed to provide its members with a reduced rate for services, to membership programs that include limited liability insurance benefits. The Company offers two families of CARExpress membership programs to its members, its CARExpress health discount programs, and its CARExpress Plus membership programs.
The Company's CARExpress health discount programs consists of healthcare, including physicians, hospitals, ancillary services, dentists, prescription drugs, vision care, hearing aids, chiropractic services, alternative care, 24-hour nurseline, medical supplies and equipment, and long-term care facilities, which include skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, respite care and home health care. The Company provides its members with access to over 1,000,000 healthcare providers through its agreements with CareMark, Aetna, Optum, Outlook Vision, Integrated Health, Three Rivers, International Med-Care and HealthFi International.
The Company's CARExpress Plus programs are membership programs consists of the Company's CARExpress health discount progr! ams and limited liability insurance benefits underwritten by United States.The limited liability insurance benefits included in these programs are accidental death and dismemberment coverage (AD&D), accident medical expense coverage (AME), accident disability coverage, a daily hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) benefit, doctor visit benefits, inpatient/outpatient surgical visit benefits, as well as emergency room and ambulance benefits. With CARExpress Plus, the Company's health discount programs provide its members with a point of service discount on their healthcare expenses at the time of service. The Company offers three standard CARExpress Plus programs, which include CARExpress Plus Platinum Program, CARExpress Plus Gold Program and CARExpress Plus Silver Program.
The Company competes with Alliance HealthCard, Inc., AmeriPlan, Best Benefits, Careington International, Family Care, Full Access Medical, International Association of Businesses, New Benefits, Inc. and People's Benefit Services.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham]
Last Friday, small cap stocks National Health Partners, Inc (OTCMKTS: NHPR) surged 816.7% while Timios National Corp (OTCMKTS: HOMS) and Medical Care Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS: MDCE) sank 32.28% and 25%, respectively. So what will these three small caps do for investors and traders this week? Here is a closer look to help you decide on a trading strategy:National Health Partners, Inc (OTCMKTS: NHPR) Surged 816.7% On Friday
Small cap National Health Partners is a national healthcare savings organization that provides discount healthcare membership programs to uninsured and underinsured people through a national healthcare savings network called "CARExpress." On Friday, National Health Partners surged 816.7% to $0.044 for a market cap of $107,933 plus NHPR is down 78% over the past year and up 923.3% since June 2012 according to Google Finance.
Hot Insurance Stocks For 2014: Tryg A/S (TRYG)Tryg A/S, formerly TrygVesta A/S, is a Denmark-based insurance company. It is the parent company within the Tryg Group, which supplies insurance services in the Nordic countries. The Company is organized in four business areas, namely Private, Commercial, Industry and Sweden. Private sells insurance products to private individuals in Denmark and Norway. Commercial sells insurance products to small and medium-sized companies in Denmark and Norway. Industry sells insurance products to industrial customers under the Tryg brand in Denmark and Norway and the Moderna brand in Sweden. Sweden sells insurance products to private individuals in Sweden under the Moderna brand name. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had one wholly owned subsidiary, Tryg Forsikring A/S. On May 1, 2013, it sold its Finnish branch. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sofia Horta e Costa]
Commodity producers slid as the release fueled concern about the slowdown in the world�� second-biggest economy. Burberry Group Plc (BRBY) gained 4.8 percent after the company�� spring-summer collection helped increase retail sales in its fiscal first quarter by more than analysts had estimated. Tryg A/S (TRYG) added 3.3 percent after posting better-than-forecast pretax profit as cost cuts offset increased weather-related claims.