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

.

MetLife

(

MET

) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, MetLife fell 48 cents (-1.4%) to $34.85 on average volume. Throughout the day, 8.3 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $34.57-$35.49 after having opened the day at $35.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.33. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were:

Citizens

(

CIA

), down 3.3%,

Phoenix Companies

(

PNX

), down 3%,

MBIA

(

MBI

), down 3%, and

Homeowners Choice

(

HCII

), down 2.7%.

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MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. MetLife has a market cap of $36.54 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.4, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 5.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

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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