AIG Stock Higher on Bailout Trial Ruling

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of American International Group (AIG) are gaining by 2.38% to $63.36 in mid-afternoon trading on Monday, after a federal judge ruled that the U.S government was acting outside the bounds of its authority in regards to the 2008 bailout of the insurance company, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Former AIG Chief Hank Greenberg sought to win at least $25 billion in damages for shareholders, according to Bloomberg.

The U.S demanded a 79.9% equity stake in the then struggling company in exchange for giving it an $85 billion loan with a 14.5% initial interest rate.

"The government's unduly harsh treatment of AIG in comparison to other institutions seemingly was misguided and had no legitimate purpose," Judge Thomas Wheeler of the U.S. court of Federal Claims wrote in his opinion, The Journal noted.

The judge ruled in Greenberg's favor, but didn't award any damages at the conclusion of the trial. Wheeler found the government's argument, that AIG's only alternative to a bailout would have been a bankruptcy filing that could have left shareholders with nothing, valid, The Journal said.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP (AIG) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 53.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1,609.00 million to $2,468.00 million.
  • Although AIG's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 9.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP reported lower earnings of $5.21 versus $6.07 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 5.5% in earnings ($4.93 versus $5.21).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AIG Ratings Report

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