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

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MetLife

(

MET

) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, MetLife rose 74 cents (2.1%) to $35.65 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7.3 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $35.22-$35.75 after having opened the day at $35.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.91. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were:

Stewart Information Services

(

STC

), up 7.5%,

Horace Mann Educators

(

HMN

), up 5.7%,

Aspen Insurance Holdings

(

AHL

), up 5.1%, and

Life Partners Holdings

(

LPHI

), up 4.8%.

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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 $37.16 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.3, 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 12% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front,

CoreLogic

(

CLGX

), down 11.2%,

First American Financial

(

FAF

), down 4.8%,

Old Republic International

(

ORI

), down 4.6%, and

American Independence Corporation

(

AMIC

), down 2.9%, were all laggards within the insurance industry with

Travelers Companies

(

TRV

) 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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