Insurance companies enjoy a two-sided business model: they earn cash from premiums paid on the policies they write and then again through investing the large pools of their accumulated capital. Many insurance companies are trading at attractive price-to-earnings and price-to-book valuations that also pay dividends to shareholders. Below are five stocks in the insurance industry that have solid dividends:
AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) is a $24 billion company that provides supplemental health and life insurance in the United States and Japan. Interestingly, most investors probably consider AFLAC to be an American company, but 75% of the company’s business is derived from Japan. AFLAC got off to a great start in 2012. Total revenues through the first nine months of 2012 increased 17.3%, and earnings per share jumped from $2.98 to $4.87 during the period. AFLAC raised its dividend last November for the 30th year in a row. The dividend is extremely well cushioned—AFLAC has a payout ratio near 20%, and a solid yield of 2.75%.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV) has a market value of $29 billion and is a Dow Jones Industrial Average component. Travelers trades at a trailing price to earnings ratio of 10 and a price to book ratio of 1.12. Travelers did a decent job of navigating the tough 2012 economic environment, with net revenues up 1% during the first three quarters versus the prior year. Net income almost tripled as the company benefited from a big drop in claims expenses. Travelers has raised its dividend every year since 2004 and yields 2.4% at current prices.