NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Investors are ignoring insurance stocks, pushing down trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange by 20%.
The following five insurers are an exception. Trading is 83% higher than average, led by two health insurers. (The list excludes Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A), which isn't mainly an insurer.) Higher interest in the shares can lead to increased profits for investors. 5. Centene ( CNC) is a Missouri-based health-insurance company. Weekly Volume as Percentage of Average: 171% Financial Fundamentals: Third-quarter cash and equivalents of $394 million rose 4%. Total assets climbed 20%. Liabilities advanced 18%. Policy income gained 12%. Net income increased for the second consecutive quarter, totaling $23.8 million, despite a 49% drop in investment income. Market Indicators: Investors reacted to a stock issuance by dumping the shares, leading to a 6.9% drop. The shares are down 7.6% this year and up 8.4% over 12 months. The price is 10% below analysts' consensus target. The price-to-earnings ratio is 10.2, with a price-to-book value of 147%. Short interest is waning. No dividend. News and Gossip: Fourth-quarter earnings are expected Feb. 9. The company will use $300 million raised in a share sale for debt repayment. 4. Amerigroup ( AGP) is a Virginia-based Medicare and Medicaid specialist insurer. Weekly Volume as Percentage of Average: 174% Financial Fundamentals: Third-quarter cash and equivalents declined 9%, but assets remained steady. Policy income continued to rise, gaining 17%. Total membership was up marginally. Investment income dropped 70%. Increased medical expenses were mitigated by reduced underwriting and other expenses. Net income plunged 43% to $22.5 million. Market Indicators: The price-to-earnings ratio of 15.8 is higher than the trailing P/E of 10, and, if investment earnings improve, this would change. Price-to-book value is 146%. Short interest has halved since December. The stock price is down 6.7% over one week but up 1% for the year and 1.2% over 12 months. There's a 4.7% price gap between analysts' consensus target and today's price. No dividend.