Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of private mortgage insurer PMI Group (NYSE: PMI ) took a nosedive after third-quarter results disappointed investors.
So what: PMI Group's bottom line has been bathed in red for longer than investors likely care to remember, and today's earnings report added yet another quarter to that tally. The company's loss per share widened to $1.74 from $1.06 last year; however, there was a significant non-cash charge because of a change in deferred tax assets. On a pre-tax basis, PMI Group lost $131 million, which represents an improvement from the $162 million pre-tax loss last year.
Now what: Shares of competitors Radian (NYSE: RDN ) and MGIC Investment (Nasdaq: MTG ) both declined on the news -- which is actually pretty funny, considering MGIC Investment reported better-than-expected earnings of its own last week. Bulls could point to definite improvements in PMI Group's quarter, but improvements are slow in coming. Looking ahead, the company has the dual challenge of dealing with crippling losses while trying to somehow reverse its sagging top line. I won't say that there's no chance that an eventual recovery may prove today's price to be cheap, but this is still a stock that I think most investors can be very comfortable skipping.
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