Assured Guaranty Ltd (AGO): Today's Featured Insurance Loser

The insurance industry closed the day up 1.6%. First Acceptance Corporation ( FAC), Baldwin & Lyons Inc ( BWINA), Kansas City Life Insurance ( KCLI), and EMC Insurance Group ( EMCI) were all decliners today within the insurance industry with Assured Guaranty ( AGO) being today's featured insurance loser. Assured Guaranty fell 52 cents (-4.8%) to $11.45 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.1 million shares of Assured Guaranty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.6 million shares.

Assured Guaranty Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides credit enhancement products to the public finance, structured finance, and mortgage markets in the United States and internationally. Assured Guaranty has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.4, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 40.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Assured Guaranty 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, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, PMI Group Inc ( PMI), MGIC Investment Corporation ( MTG), Radian Group Inc ( RDN), and Prudential ( PUK) were all gainers within the insurance industry with Unum Group ( UNM) being today's featured insurance industry winner.

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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