Stock Watch - Stock Picks — Equinix and Progressive Corp

Gary Booysen from Rand Swiss chose Equinix as his stock pick of the day and Jean Pierre Verster from Protea Capital Management chose Progressive Corp

Booysen said: "I'm going with Equinix, it's essentially a large listed property REIT, so it's a property company but it actually creates data centers so it's another way to play cloud computing without actually holding the computing section of the the business. They essentially then rent out server racks and server space to different people and have many partners. Among their clients are about half of the Fortune 500 companies so it's a company that's growing very rapidly. It is fairly expensive at this stage to take a sell off as most things did overseas into December, so the year to date return on the stock looks incredible, at almost 50 percent up for the year. That is because you're buying off a low base (if you started at the 1st of January) but it is expensive. It's trading on forward PE of about 23 so it is high but at the same time if you look at its data equity ratio - that's been falling quite aggressively so the
balance sheet is getting stronger while the company is growing which is positive. It's very cash generative and all around it's it's not only a dividend play which which mode with most REITs are.

Verster said: "My stock pick is called Progressive Insurance, they are roughly the OUTsurance of the US, they really started direct insurance through the telephone, before we had the internet and then started via the internet, selling their policies as well. It also started with pay as you drive insurance which means that your premiums escalate with how far you drive so, very good in terms of really pricing for the risk which is also what direct insurance is all about. Getting good underwriting information rather than going through
brokers - not knowing exactly what the identities are of the people and their risk profile. So, Progressive Insurance is listed in the US, large insurance player in the sho