Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ)

CAPS Rating: 4 out of 5

Focuses on building & maintaining a portfolio of insurance businesses, leveraging a set of core capabilities, identifying & adapting to evolving market needs & centralizing certain key functions in the Corporate segment to achieve economies of scale.

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Player Avatar jmcavalier (94.50) Submitted: 7/17/2007 10:01:08 PM : Underperform Start Price: $52.11 AIZ Score: -34.37

As of July 17, 2007 five of Assurant's executives have come under SEC scrutiny, including the CEO (Robert Pollock) and CFO (Philip Camacho), for abuse of "loss mitigation insurance products". Further information on the case can be found here:http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/17/assurant-insurance-sec-markets-equity-cx_er_0717marketsxx_print.htmlIn response to the investigation by the SEC the stock has been downgraded from "buy" to "hold" by KeyBanc Capital Markets, with KeyBanc reasoning being: "We believe AIZ management has demonstrated strong leadership in the past," Malone said. "However, the circumstances surrounding the investigation are likely to depress the stock in the near term, in our opinion. Thus, we believe investors should not take new positions in the stock until some resolution has been determined." Short this stock until the SEC finishes its investigation (and in all likelihood fines AIZ), then buy the stock on the cheap; it’s a cash cow of a company.

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