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Unum Group (UNM): Today's Featured Insurance Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Unum Group ( UNM) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Unum Group rose 28 cents (1.5%) to $19.32 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.3 million shares of Unum Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $18.99-$19.33 after having opened the day at $19.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.04. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Independence Holding Company ( IHC), up 5.6%, Fortegra Financial ( FRF), up 4.6%, Investors Title Company ( ITIC), up 4.3%, and Crawford & Company ( CRD.B), up 4.1%.

Unum Group, together with its subsidiaries, provides group and individual disability insurance products primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. Unum Group has a market cap of $5.35 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 23, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 23.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Unum Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Unum Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), down 4.3% and CNinsure ( CISG), down 3%, were all laggards within the insurance industry with Progressive Corporation ( PGR) being today's insurance industry laggard.

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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