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

MBIA

(

MBI

) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, MBIA fell $0.45 (-4.4%) to $9.85 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,666,975 shares of MBIA exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,300,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $9.76-$10.08 after having opened the day at $10.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.30. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were:

First Acceptance Corporation

(

FAC

), down 8.6%,

Life Partners Holdings

(

LPHI

), down 4.3%,

United Fire Group

(

UFCS

), down 3.4% and

Donegal Group

(

DGICB

), down 3.3%.

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MBIA Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides financial guarantee insurance and related reinsurance, advisory, and portfolio services for the public and structured finance markets; and asset management advisory services in the United States and internationally. MBIA has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 1.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 31.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates MBIA as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet.

On the positive front,

American Independence Corporation

(

AMIC

), down 5.2%,

Crawford & Company

(

CRD.B

), down 4.2%,

Mercury General Corporation

(

MCY

), down 4.0% and

Symetra Financial Corporation

(

SYA

), down 4.0% , were all gainers within the insurance industry with

Aon plc

(

AON

) 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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