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XL Group PLC (XL): Today's Featured Insurance Laggard

XL Group (XL) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, XL Group fell 25 cents (-1.1%) to $22.73 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.8 million shares of XL Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $22.68-$23.10 after having opened the day at $22.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.98. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: National Security Group (NSEC), down 12.4%, Kingstone Companies (KINS), down 3.5%, SeaBright Holdings (SBX), down 2.7%, and Assurant (AIZ), down 2.6%.

XL Group plc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and reinsurance coverages to industrial, commercial, and professional firms, as well as insurance companies and other enterprises worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Insurance, Reinsurance, and Life Operations. XL Group has a market cap of $7.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 15.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate XL Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates XL Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG), up 12.4%, Investors Title Company (ITIC), up 4.7%, Radian Group (RDN), up 3.5%, and Citizens (CIA), up 2.9%, were all gainers within the insurance industry with American International Group (AIG) being today's featured insurance industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the insurance industry could consider KBW Insurance ETF (KIE) while those bearish on the insurance industry could consider Proshares Short Financials (SEF).

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