These two will gain from rising markets

Article Excerpt

FAIRFAX FINANCIAL HOLDINGS $367.70 (Toronto symbol FFH: SI Rating: Average) (416-367-2612;; Shares outstanding: 19.4 million; Market cap: $7.1 billion; Dividend yield: 2.7%) is a financial-services holding company with $29.8 billion of assets. Aside from managing investments, Fairfax sells insurance and reinsurance. Prem Watsa is the company’s chairman and founder. Fairfax trades at a high price, but you can buy an odd lot of as few as 10 shares through any broker. Reinsurers sell insurance to insurers. Fairfax does this through two subsidiaries: OdysseyRe and Group Re. Crum & Forster is Fairfax’s main U.S. insurance subsidiary, and Northbridge Financial is its principal subsidiary in Canada. The company also sells insurance in Asia. In the three months ended September 30, 2009, earnings rose 20.3%, to $562.4 million, or $31.04 a share, from $467.6 million, or $25.40. (All figures except share price and market cap in U.S. dollars.) The company’s insurance operations reported improved results during the quarter. Fairfax’s interest and dividend income also…

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