Long time readers know that I have a soft spot for insurance companies. Some weeks ago, I started looking into Insurtech companies and then I looked into Lemonade’s 2021 earnings. Since my first post, Lemonade has lost another 1/3 of its value and is now significantly below its IPO price.
What I like about Lemonade is that they indeed created a “fresh” insurance brand, however the numbers were clearly challenging. My main takeaways from last time were as following:
- Growth is slowing
- marketing cost is increasing (per new dollar premium)
- The business is not really scaling
Already a week ago, Lemonade issued its Q1 earnings. This time, I have compiled a few line items that I find interesting on a quarterly basis in order to analyze things more deeply:
As inflation is something that we haven’t seen for a few decades, I am still trying to get my head around this trying to understand how this could influence investments going forward. In this posts I just wanted to touch three areas: Inflation linked bonds, pension liabilities and highly indebted countries.
- Inflation linkers
When looking for assets that gain or at least compensate for inflation, one should not forget Inflation linked bonds. Per construction, they compensate at least fully for the officially measured inflation.
In addition, Inflation linked bonds function also as an instrument to observe “implied” inflation rates, I.e. the market price of an inflation linked bond contains the investor’s expectation for future inflation rate.
The German agency for debt has a good page (in German) that explains how these securities work. One thing to mention is that most bonds are linked to Eurozone inflation, not German inflation.
Looking at the detail page of the 2033 linker we can see that this bond carries a 0,10% coupon and trades at a yield of -1,73%. Comparing this with the 2032 fixed rate bond (there is no 2033 fixed rate Bund) that yields around 1%, we can estimate that the difference between the two yields (1-1,73%)= 2,73% is the market’s current estimate for the inflation in the Eurozone for the next 10 years or so. (Remark: in reality, this is more complex, see for instance here, but for this exercise it is good enough).
And another batch of 10 randomly selected Danish shares, this time, none of them made it onto the watch list. We have now covered almost 1/3 of all Danish stocks.
51. Ringkjøbing Landbobank A/S
Ringkjøbing Landbobank is a 3,3 bn EUR market cap bank active only in Denmark, that is surprisingly profitable with a ROE of ~15%. This is reflected in a very good share price performance and a rather high valuation at 20x trailing P/E.
Back to Denmark with a new batch of 10 randomly selected shares. What I have to say is that the Danish stock maket really offers a wide variety of companies. From a Fintech active in Africa, via shipping and concrete blocks over to Medtech, today’s selection has a lot of different business models. Four of them I found actually worth to “watch” this time.
41. SPENN Technology A/S
SPENN is a 80 mn EUR market cap company that seems to offer a banking/trading app. The majority of the business seems to be in Africa (Zambia, Rwanda) via a company that was acquired in 2021. their offering seems to comprise (of course) Blockchain, Crypto, Payment and remittance services.
The stock chart looks quite uninspiring:
In the first 3 months of 2021, the Value & Opportunity portfolio lost -6,6% (including dividends, no taxes) against a loss of -8.6% for the Benchmark (Eurostoxx50 (25%), EuroStoxx small 200 (25%), DAX (30%), MDAX (20%), all TR indices).
Links to previous Performance reviews can be found on the Performance Page of the blog. Some other funds that I follow have performed as follows in the first 3M 2022:
Partners Fund TGV: -20,09%
Profitlich/Schmidlin: -3,67 %
Squad European Convictions -6,4%
Ennismore European Smaller Cos +0,42% (in EUR)
Frankfurter Aktienfonds für Stiftungen -4,29%
Greiff Special Situation -1,42%
Squad Aguja Special Situation -8,31%
Paladin One -6,59%
The war is now going on for more than a month. Every other day there are rumors that progress has been made with regard to negotiations and the Russian army is failing or withdrawing, but the bombings are going on and more and more Ukrainians are fleeing (~4mn at the time of writing).
In contrast, the major stock market indices, in particular the US indices but also the DAX are at the same level or even higher now than before the invasion. BTFD has worked and again and these days “anything is good for stocks” seems to be the only motto.
One explanation that I have read is that Russia and Ukraine are only 2% of Global GDP, so a “loss” of these countries is no big deal. Personally, I do think that this is not a very useful number. Russian oil and gas is powering a significant amount of European (and Global) GDP. A supply disruption from Russian oil and gas would impact a much larger share of GDP globally and might make Covid-19 supply chain disruption like a toddler party. But the oil and gas is still flowing, so why worry ?
Just a few days ago, the CEO of BASF gave an interview warning against a full embargo against Russia, because it will “destroy the German economy”. He was stating the obvious, but especially BASF in my opinion shares a lot of responsibility for the dependency on Russian gas.
As for the endgame: As much as I hope for a quick, clean victory for Ukraine, I do think that this is the most unlikely scenario. Russia and Putin cannot afford to lose which is also the essence of an interview with one of Putin’s former advisors.
Protector Forsikring ASA is a name that came up more often in my “stream”. It is a Norwegian “Challenger” Insurance company founded in 2007 (and IPOed in 2008) that has been growing nicely over the past years and doesn’t look expensive.
The stock price has been quite volatile but recently the stock has reached new highs and long time shareholders should be quite happy:
The high level financial indicators look very attractive: A relatively Ok valuation with an impressive ROE:
Another week and the war still goes on. My subjective feeling is that currently, a surprising large amount of investors still believe that this war will end relatively soon, one way or the other. However, if the war will last for a few years, we would be still far away from a turning point with a lot of escalation potential (stopping the oil and gas pipelines, “dirty weapons”, tens of millions of refugees etc). In the short term however, especially in European markets we could see some rallies if some good news is surfacing.
Consequences As mentioned already, I desperately hope (and still pray) for a quick end, but mentally, as an investor, I prepare for a much longer conflict. What does that “preparing mentally” mean ?
Gaztransport & Technigaz is a company that I had looked at in early 2016 and most of what I have written back then still applies:
Imagine you could invest into a company with the following characteristics:
– Global market leader with 70-90% market share (95% new built)
– Net margins after tax of 50% or more
– business protected by patents
– almost no capital requirement, negative working capital
– a potentially huge growth opportunity
– conservative balance sheet (no debt) and “OK” management
Back then, I found the stock initially too expensive at EUR 34 per share, however I invested then at around 22 EUR but sold after a quick gain at around 31 EUR.
What did happen since then ?
Looking at the chart, I was clearly underestimating the value of the stock by a wide margin as the stock more than tripled until early 2021:
A few days ago, I had a first look at the “massacred” listed Insurtech sector and decided to focus on the P&C players only. This week, both Lemonade and Root reported 2021 numbers. I’ll start with Lemonade and will continue with Root in a few days
This is the overview of 2021: