Validus Holdings Inc

(

VR

) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 2.1%. By the end of trading, Validus Holdings Inc rose 23 cents (0.8%) to $27.36 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.3 million shares of Validus Holdings Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $26.99-$27.60 after having opened the day at $27.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.13. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were:

Donegal Group Inc

(

DGICB

), up 11.3%,

Unico American Corporation

(

UNAM

), up 7.8%,

First Acceptance Corporation

(

FAC

), up 3.2%, and

Crawford & Company

(

CRD.A

), up 2.4%.

Validus Holdings, Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides reinsurance and insurance coverage in the property, marine, and specialty lines markets worldwide. Validus Holdings Inc has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.6, above the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 12.2 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Validus as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front,

Lincoln National Corp (Radnor

(

LNC

), down 11%,

Affirmative Insurance Holdings Inc

(

AFFM

), down 10.2%,

ING Groep N.V

(

ING

), down 9.9%, and

United Fire & Casualty CO

(

UFCS

), down 8.4%, were all losers within the insurance industry with

American International Group Inc

(

AIG

) 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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