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Analysts Optimistic About Pru

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Prudential Financial Inc. should be a good investment in coming months.

Suneet Kamath and Andrew Fernandez, securities analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, New York, make that prediction in a recent note about Prudential, Newark, N.J.

Prudential has about $8.5 billion in subprime mortgage investments, and investor concerns about Prudential’s mortgage investments seem to be hurting the company’s stock price, Kamath and Fernandez write.

But Prudential reported lower-than-average investment losses in 2002, the last time life insurers ran into concerns about the credit quality of the securities in their portfolios, the analysts write.

The analysts say Prudential is insulated against any subprime mortgage problems in a huge block of policies written before the company demutualized.

If any problems arise, Prudential “can reduce/eliminate dividends to [closed block] policyholders & buyers of CB securitization absorb losses next,” the analysts write.


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