One low-risk, downtrodden name is Genworth Financial, an insurance company that was spun out of General Electric in 2004. In the second quarter of this year, 18% of its net operating income came from mortgage insurance, a fact that has helped knock the stock down 16% since the end of May.
But the majority of Genworth's business is in bread-and-butter products, including life, annuity, and long-term-care insurance. And last year it made 37% of its net income from
continuing operations outside the U.S.
Wendell Perkins, chief investment officer of billion-dollar Johnson Asset Management, thinks Genworth's price has fallen too far. "Anything that has the M-word attached to it is
immediately suspect," he says. Perkins appreciates how Genworth clearly laid out its exposure to problems in its mortgage insurance business and with investments in subprime,
which account for only 5% of assets, and he thinks that candor will help restore confidence in the company.
Even though the stock has risen a bit recently, it is still trading at less than ten times its estimated earnings for 2007. Perkins sees 25% upside in the coming year.