It's been a strong year for owners of Verisk Analytics (VRSK - Get Report). Shares of the $7 billion risk analytics firm have rallied more than 15.6% this year, besting the performance of the S&P 500 by a broad margin. Verisk provides risk management data to insurance companies, healthcare providers, and mortgage lenders, helping firms to measure and reduce their exposure to a bevy of risks.
That's an attractive business for one very big reason: in this environment of risk-conscious companies, Verisk can point clients to the dangers of not having its product. A subscription-based business model means that revenues are both sticky and recurring, resulting in hefty cash generation and high margins.While its insurance servicing arm is the most mature part of Verisk's business, the company has been pouring considerable resources into building out and maintaining its healthcare and mortgage risk databases. As additional regulatory eyes come onto both of those industries, managing risk through the products Verisk provides is going to become increasingly important. With rising analyst sentiment, we're betting on shares this week. Verisk is one of Warren Buffett's stocks, comprising 2.8% of his Berkshire Hathaway portfolio, and also shows up in D.E. Shaw's portfolio as of the most recently reported period.