On Jun 28, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
) to a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Why the Upgrade?
Loews aims to strengthen its hotel business, which is the
company's smallest unit. It plans to increase the hotel count to
30 in the next two to four years, besides tripling its net income
by 2015. The company remains focused on acquiring and developing
hotels. Loews Hotels added properties in Boston, Washington, Los
Angeles and Chicago. With enough capital to acquire and develop
properties, the company will seek to expand in San Francisco, New
York City, Dallas, Toronto and Seattle, and cater to a larger
Further, the property and casualty operation of
CNA Financial Corporation
), the insurance company of Loews, has been performing strongly.
Both CNA Specialty and Commercial continue to experience rate
increases as well as solid retentions.
Boardwalk Pipeline, another subsidiary of Loews, in its efforts
to diversify its operations forayed into the natural gas liquids
business by entering into a joint venture with
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP
). Natural gas is usually an attractive choice because of
its relative fuel efficiency, low emissions, quick construction
timelines and low capital costs. It will gradually become a major
source of power generation.
In addition, to offset the declining natural gas price
environment, HighMount, another Loews subsidiary, is focusing its
drilling activities particularly in sites such as Mississippian
line in Oklahoma and the Wolfcamp strata in Sonora, Texas. This
could result in higher oil production.
We expect benefits from these continued efforts to translate to a
solid bottom line for the company. The Zacks Consensus Estimate
for the second quarter is currently pegged at 80 cents, up 70.2%
year over year.
Other Stocks to Consider
CNO Financial Group, Inc
) is worth considering. It carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
BOARDWALK PIPLN (BWP): Free Stock Analysis
CNA FINL CORP (CNA): Free Stock Analysis
CNO FINL GRP (CNO): Free Stock Analysis
LOEWS CORP (L): Free Stock Analysis Report
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