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SWOT ANALYSIS ON American Financial Group

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SWOT ANALYSIS ON American Financial Group
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SWOT ANALYSIS ON American Financial Group - November 26th, 2010

American Financial Group Incorporated (NYSE: AFG) is a holding company based in Cincinnati, Ohio whose primary business is insurance and investments. American Financial Group's purpose is to enable businesses and individuals to manage risk using insurance products and services tailored to meet their specific needs.

American Financial Group's major insurance division operates as the Great American Insurance Company, founded in 1872 and focuses on property and casualty insurance services. Other affiliates and subsidiaries include American Custom, Mid Continent, National Interstate, Republic Indemnity. Additional insurance specialties include (but are not limited to) equine, trucking, executive liability, fidelity and crime, and agri-business. Great American Financial Resources is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Financial Group and supplies a range of annuities, life insurance products and supplemental insurances to individuals and enterprises.

The parent company, AFG, is owned principally by financier Carl Lindner, Jr. and his family. Carl Lindner is Chairman of the Board of Directors of AFG. The senior Lindner's sons, Carl H. Lindner, III and S. Craig Lindner serve as Co-Chief Executive Officers.

American Financial Group was ranked 486th on the Fortune 500 list in 2004. Through the years American Financial Group has owned a number of subsidiaries, real estate properties, and companies, including The Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa in Whitefield, New Hampshire, The Cincinnatian in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida, Le Pavillon in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina in Charleston, South Carolina. Great American Insurance Group partnered with the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds, and Hamilton County to purchase naming rights for Great American Ball Park.

On December 6, 2006, American Financial sold assets acquired from successors to the dissolution of the Penn Central Railroad including the land under Grand Central Terminal and the 156 miles (251 km) of Metro North track leading to the New York City landmark to Argent Ventures. The company announced in December 2007 that they will combine their offices and move their headquarters to the brand new Great American Insurance Building at Queen City Square in 2011.

American Financial Group was one of the first publicly traded Fortune 500 companies to make political donations after corporations' freedom of speech rights were expanded to include donations as a result of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. Carl Linder, Jr is a longtime top Republican donor, comfortably donating millions of his personal income to candidates and political action committees,[3]sent ripples in campaign finance circles during the 2010 mid-term elections. American Financial, which Linder has a non-majority 42% share, donated $400,000 to the Republican-allied PAC American Crossroads

Strengths[list][*] Industry leaders[*] Strong sales and marketing infrastructure[*] Revived blockbuster credentials in recent years - Lyrica, Sutent and Chantix/Champix[*] Strong R&D departments[*]R&D innovation with a broad therapeutic coverage[*]Marketing strength in major geographical and therapeutic areas[*]Existing Patent protection for a number of years on key products
jews
Weaknesses

* Drought in blockbuster launches between
1999 and 2004 (masked by M&A activity)
* Entrenchment in low growth therapy area
markets such as CV and CNS
* Very limited penetration of biologics market
* Discontinuation of products in the latter stages of development
* Co-marketing agreements can limit Pfizer's global presence

Opportunities

* Restructuring strategy designed to cut costs and create a leaner company
* Funding available to facilitate product/company
* Acquisitions and in-licensing/co- development opportunities
* Biologic market expansion
* Decreasing development time through favorable R&D collaborations and internal efforts
* Emergence of integrated global markets and globalisation for new products
* Co-marketing agreements with companies wishing to capitalize on Pfizer's marketing
* Strengths, providing Pfizer with strong products and therefore revenue growth

Threats

* Considerable exposure to generic competition, focal point of which is Lipitor, due to lose patent exclusivity in 2011
* Further large scale M&A activity could further decline Pfizer's profitability
* Increased competition for core products like Viagra as its high cost encourages use of cheaper alternative treatments
* An increase in the number of safety issues surrounding Viagra
* Competition from products similar to Pfizer's in R&D that reach the market close to or before Pfizer's products
* The new economic potential of emergent China, India and competition in diverse regional markets.
* Economic downturn influencing consumers' purchasing power
* Negative publicity
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