Prudential Financial

(

PRU

) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Prudential Financial rose 36 cents (0.8%) to $47.04 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6.1 million shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $45.70-$47.21 after having opened the day at $46.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.68. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were:

Affirmative Insurance Holdings

(

AFFM

), up 10.1%,

CNinsure

(

CISG

), up 6.8%,

Old Republic International

(

ORI

), up 4.4%, and

Crawford & Company

(

CRD.B

), up 3.2%.

Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, and investment management services in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential Financial has a market cap of $21.8 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.8, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 11.9 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Prudential Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial as a

buy

. Among the primary strengths of the company is its reasonable valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front,

American Independence Corporation

(

AMIC

), down 7.2%,

Atlantic American

(

AAME

), down 5.5%,

Radian Group

(

RDN

), down 5%, and

MGIC Investment Corporation

(

MTG

), down 4.4%, were all losers within the insurance industry with

Manulife Financial Corporation

(

MFC

) being today's insurance industry loser.

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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