Prudential Financial: Quality Growth
Shawn Price, manger of Touchstone Large Cap Growth fund (TEQAX) looks for companies with rapidly rising earnings and stocks that are outperforming the market. But he's pickier than that. He also screens for volatility and tries to weed out the chanciest stocks. "We want quality, not just hype," he says, "so we're obsessed with risk control." One stock that has caught his eye is Prudential Financial (PRU).
The Newark, N.J., company is known for life insurance, but some of its other businesses are sparking growth. Among them is a thriving international insurance unit that operates in more than 30 countries but focuses on Japan and Korea.
Prudential's investment arm also is performing well. It includes a retirement-services division and a retail brokerage operated in partnership with Wachovia.
Prudential earned $3.2 billion in the first three quarters of 2005, a 90% gain from the same period in 2004. It's scheduled to release fourth-quarter earnings on February 8.
The stock has tripled since October 2002 and now, at $77, trades at 14 times the $5.53 per share that analysts expect Prudential to earn in 2006.