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Aon Plc (AON): 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.

Aon plc ( AON) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.7%. By the end of trading, Aon plc rose $1.49 (2.9%) to $53.84 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2.1 million shares of Aon plc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $52.62-$54.06 after having opened the day at $53.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.35. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), up 12%, eHealth ( EHTH), up 8.8%, Crawford & Company ( CRD.A), up 6.9%, and Unico American Corporation ( UNAM), up 2.3%.

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Aon Corporation provides risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting and outsourcing services primarily in the United States, the Americas, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. Aon plc has a market cap of $16.79 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.2, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 18.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate Aon plc a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aon plc as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Stewart Information Services ( STC), down 5.1%, MBIA ( MBI), down 4.2%, First American Financial ( FAF), down 3.9%, and Radian Group ( RDN), down 3.7%, were all laggards within the insurance industry with Chubb ( CB) 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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