Topic: How To Invest

Q: Pat: Can I have your opinion on Fairfax Financial? Thanks.

Article Excerpt

A: Fairfax Financial Holdings, $701.00, symbol FFH on Toronto (Shares outstanding: 27.8 million; Market cap: $21.1 billion; www.fairfax.ca), mainly sells insurance and reinsurance, but it also manages a large investment portfolio. Its insurance subsidiaries include Northbridge Financial, OdysseyRe, Crum & Forster, Zenith National, Brit and Allied World. The company’s revenues increased 2.2%, from $6.1 billion in 2013 to $6.2 billion in 2014. (All figures except share price and market cap in U.S. dollars.) Revenue then rose 18.6% in 2015 to $7.4 billion. That was mostly due to the acquisition of Brit (a global Lloyd’s of London specialty insurer and reinsurer). Revenue again rose in 2016, by 6.6% to $7.9 billion. It then took a big jump in 2017—up 23.6% to $9.7 billion. That was mostly due to the July 2017 acquisition of Allied World, a global specialty insurer, for $4.9 billion. Fairfax’s earnings swing widely from year to year as the company recognizes gains and loss on the sale of investments, or…

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