Well, it wasn’t but a week and a half ago that I urged you to take a look at Loews — but with the fall in all financial and oil-related stocks, I need to sell my own shares of this conglomerate. I closed out my Loews position today, though I still have some exposure to the shares through long term call options.
Well, as I noted in my Loews writeup, I thought Loews was underpriced relative to some other insurance-based companies that I like, but that their insurance arm was weak and that, if they were cheaper, Berkshire Hathaway or Markel or a number of other insurers would be preferred. Turns out, since the wheels are coming off the big ‘ol economy bus, companies I like a lot better — including those two — are indeed cheaper. So I’m selling Loews, holding the cash for a moment, and looking for great buys elsewhere.
One possibility is swapping over to the Loews subsidiary that I’m most confident in right now, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners — as I wrote about over on the main site a few days ago, there’s quite a bit of appeal in the MLP space right now if you can find the right companies. I’ll be looking at these over the next little while — generally I’d prefer those that own the big long distance pipelines and not necessarily the gathering systems, but there are several very strong MLPs out there, with Boardwalk possibly being among them.
Sorry to bait and switch this way, I do think Loews is a good company but its foundation is not strong enough for me to be willing to stick with them through thick and thin — and times are thin, indeed.