Wednesday 23 August 2017 The one stop source for free breaking news, expert analysis, and videos on AIM and LSE listed shares


Things Are Looking Up in this Royal Family. Could Be Worth a Few Sovereigns

By Malcolm Stacey | Friday 5 May 2017


Disclosure: I own shares in one or more of the stocks mentioned. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


Hello Share Gobblers. My relationship with RSA Insurance Group (RSA) goes back to the long-gone days when it was Royal Insurance. And it has generally not been a happy one.

I insure my house with the Royal and have always found its premiums to be the cheapest I've found. But from a share owners point of view, the company is not the greatest at making profits. However, the share price has been climbing for some time now. And on the results just out, they leapt again.

Now the P/E ratio I have is extremely scary at 139. And to invest in this lot you need to be confident about the firm’s future. And for that you need faith in the big cheese, Stephen Hester, who you might remember wasn’t quite able to boost the RBS (RBS) share price to its former glory.

But first let’s look at RSA’s latest numbers. Premium income for the first three months of 2017 is up by 14%. It’s 10% in Blighty and the average is upped by more success in other countries.

RSA has finished some streamlining of its operations and says it can now concentrate on ‘outperformance’ for its customers - and you’ll like this bit - for shareholders.

This is a wide-ranging business, of course, and it reports improving business in Scandinavia and Canada. Things have been helped by a relatively calm period of weather across the planet. Apart from parts of Canada, which had some big winter storms to contend with.

RSA is about as experienced an insurance company as you can get. It seems to have made itself safer as an investment, if not the most exciting share builder in the world. I’m retaining my holding, partly because I think it’s well-run and partly because I expect most big insurance companies to prosper.

Now let’s 'insure' I get a drink at the Punter’s Return.


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