Friday File: Insurtech, Discounts to Book Value and more…

Another chunk of the Annual Review as we look at Metromile, Lemonade, Stitch Fix, Tiptree, DocuSign and many more...

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 12, 2021

Let’s jump right into it this week… I’ll get our latest tranche of the Annual Review started with one of the smallest companies in the Real Money Portfolio….

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Tiptree (TIPT) Buy below 75% of book value if you can be patient, with the 3% dividend yield making the wait a little easier — I expect investors will recognize the hidden value in their Fortegra specialty insurance business eventually, but they sure haven’t done so yet. Book value as of December 31 was $10.90 per share, and following their excellent earnings report I bought a little more at $5.65, which is about 52% of book value.

Tiptree (TIPT) — some folks have been asking about this one, which is understandable as the stock has been moribund for quite some time, and they finally posted their earnings report last night. Here’s what I said after their November earnings report, to get some context:

They’re still not back to where they were a year ago, but they have recovered nicely from the pandemic so far, auto sales have been strong and supportive of their warranty business, and they’re growing the still-very-small specialty insurance business at a time when a hardening market gives them some potential to build some niche operations at decent margins. We’ll see how it goes, the big news would be a stronger recovery from Invesque, but the business in general is doing just fine… and with a 3%+ yield and a 50% discount to book value, I’m still pretty comfortable waiting for it to play out.

Invesque has also reported, and they seem to be on the gradual road to recovery as the nursing home business begins to dig out of the pandemic morass, and that’s now more of “potential upside” than it is a lingering area for downside risk, given how small Invesque has gotten as a portion of Tiptree’s portfolio, but it still seems to drive investor sentiment about TIPT shares… so what was the word from Tiptree itself yesterday?

Revenues were up 23% in the quarter, and up 5% for the year, so they closed out 2020 with $810 million in revenues from the insurance and mortgage businesses (it would have been up 17% for 2020 if they excluded investment gains and losses). That drove strong growth of adjusted net income as well (again excluding investments) to $16.2 million for ...

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