This column was originally published on RealMoney on July 12 at 1:45 p.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings."
-- from Lewis Carroll's The Walrus and the Carpenter
My last post on AmerUs Group expressed doubt with respect to the interest of Aviva purchasing it. Now it looks like a deal might fly after all. My central point from that post still stands, though: The deal is rumored to have Aviva buying AmerUs in the low $70s. If you like AmerUs in the $70s (which implies a 13 multiple on 2007 earnings and 1.8 to 1.9 times book value), you should love the companies I've listed in the table below even more.I do not endorse purchases in all of the companies. I'm long only two of the names, Assurant (AIZ - Get Report) and MetLife (MET - Get Report). The table is only to draw attention to some companies that I deem cheaper than AmerUs, with better prospects.
|Life Worth Examining
If you like AmerUs, you'll love...
|Symbol||Name||P/E ttm||Yield||Market Cap||P/2006E||P/2007E||P/B||PEG Ratio|
|AEL||American Equity Investment Life||14.2||0.40%||575.21M||7.9||6.4||1.24||0.56|
|NWLIA||National Western Life||11.3||0.00%||840.42M||N/A||N/A||0.97||N/A|
|AMH||AmerUs in the low $70s||14.9||0.55%||2.82B||14.5||13.1||1.87||1.47|
It's always been my opinion that it pays to have more -- not fewer -- expert market views and analyses when you're making investing or trading decisions. That's why I recommend you take advantage of our free trial offer to TheStreet.com's RealMoney premium Web site, where you'll get in-depth commentary and money-making strategies from over 50 Wall Street pros, including Jim Cramer. Take my advice -- try it now.