Not Concerned About Reinsurance Group of America

So Reinsurance Group of America missed estimates. Big deal; they’ve had good-to-excellent earnings for the last ten quarters; they have a bad quarter now and then when the “law of small numbers” catches up with them. Look at 2Q05 and 4Q01 for examples. The law of small numbers means that every now and then, you get a random gaggle of deaths with high face amounts, and the quarter is bad. This is often a good buying opportunity, because Wall Street, which only understands that the earnings missed, without understanding the underlying model, assumes that the miss will persist into the future. That has not been true of RGA.

I have met the CEO and CFO of RGA, and I think they know what they are doing, more than all of the other companies that do life reinsurance. They are the quality name in the space, including their more complex European competitors.

The stock price is currently way above my lower rebalance point, but I would be a buyer on weakness if I did not have a position. This is one of those stocks that you tuck away for 5-7 years, and you find that it doubles. The current oligopolistic nature of life reinsurance may shorten that timespan.

Full disclosure: long RGA