Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Seeking Alpha: A Bigger, Better, But Less-Loved, Aviva

The past year has been a little unusual for Aviva (NYSE:AV). That the shares of this large European insurance company haven't performed well isn't so unusual, as Allianz (OTCQX:AZSEY), AXA (OTCQX:AXAHY), Prudential Plc (NYSE:PUK), and Legal & General (OTCPK:LGGNY) have all seen so-so results from their ADRs, due in no small part to adverse currency moves. What makes Aviva unusual is that the company undertook a sizable M&A transaction that significantly improved its capital position and should deliver meaningful revenue and cost synergies, but the market has been underwhelmed to say the least.

I understand the skepticism to a point. Euro insurance M&A hasn't often delivered the targeted synergies and in many cases it has led to a prolonged period of underperformance (has been the case with Aviva in the past). I think it's worth noting, though, that Aviva is led by a different team now and one that has done well with past cost-reduction efforts. I don't think a mid-teens ROE is an unreasonable goal for the new leader in U.K. life and protection, and these shares look as though they could be 20% undervalued today.

Continue reading here:
A Bigger, Better, But Less-Loved, Aviva

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