Thursday, August 7, 2008

Assured Guaranty Quarterly Net "Up a Lot" (AGO)

We've have a new fav. financial writer, Alistair Barr [and his editor]. From MarketWatch:
Assured Guaranty (AGO 13.74, -1.26, -8.4%) said late Thursday that second-quarter net income came in at $545.2 million, or $5.97 a share, up a lot from the same period a year earlier when the bond insurer made $32.8 million, or 47 cents a share....MORE
Now that doesn't mean A.B. and I are BFF (see below) but I did fall out of my chair when I read that line. Reuters focused on the op. inc. miss:

UPDATE 1-Assured Guaranty 2nd-qtr profit misses Wall Street view
Bond insurer Assured Guaranty Ltd (AGO.N: Quote) reported higher second-quarter operating profit that missed analysts' estimates, hurt by higher expenses.

The company posted a quarterly net income of $545.2 million, or $5.97 a share, compared with net income of $32.8 million, or 47 cents, last year.

Operating income, which excludes unrealized gains on credit derivatives, was $38.7 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with analysts' average estimate of 46 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates....MORE

Remember, those credit derivative gains can be reversed should the underlying go against AGO but the fact that this is a financial that seems to know what it's doing is heartwarming.

And they have Wilbur Ross as a large investor.
Some of our earlier posts on Mr. Ross:

Billionaire to rescue of crisis-hit US insurer (ABK)

If you are running a mismanaged monoline insurer you DO NOT want this man pulling into the parking lot. His presence means the jig's up and you're buffing that résumé. He is a VERY serious dude.
Follow-up: The bond insurers, a $200bn problem and Wilbur Ross (ABK; MBI; BRK.A)

FT Alphaville has a different take on the hot new boy-band: Wilbur & The Monolines....
Wilbur Ross: Run-Up in Oil Prices Is a Bubble
Watch the video.

Seeing Oil Bubble, a Contrarian Bets on an Indian Airline

Massey Points to $50 Billion Mergers on U.S. Coal

Wilbur Ross takes a beating on Assured Guaranty (AGO)
- Wilbur Ross is involved in AGO in a rather big way. If AGO does need more capital, Ross can probably arrange some swiftly to protect his stake. He has put in his own dinero and will not go down without a fight. Plus, AGO has access to $750 mln of additional capital under the agreement.
Don't Bet Against Wilbur Ross- Assured Guaranty (AGO)

From "Melissa Moody’s Ratings Alternative (MBI)", which is a bit ironic seeing that it was Moody's threatened downgrade that crushed AGO:
From Long or Short Capital:

..My ratings will be simple:
  • BFFAE (Best Friends Forever and Ever)
  • BFF
  • BFFLAF (Best Friends For Like Almost Forever)
  • BFFBAS (Best Friends Forever But Also a Slut)
  • BFFBIHH (Best Friends Forever But I Hate Her)
  • Whore


Previous Rating: BFFAE
New Rating: BFFBAS

Ratings Rationale: MBIA used to have a good little thing going. Yeah, like not everyone thought she was totally hot, but everyone was like “Wow she has a good little thing going”, she was funny and nice, and who doesn’t like funny and nice? Not Melissa, I’ll tell you that. And she was a go-to girl anytime a friend was jammed up with boy problems and needed ice cream.

But then she changed, and we all saw it happening. She wanted to be totally hot and started hanging out with guys out of her league. Yeah she looked great, but the diet and the clothes and the whole lifestyle changed her. Rumors started about what she was doing behind the scenes at muni parties and at CDS keggers....MORE