NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Protective Life (NYSE: PL) were gapping up Thursday morning with an open price 10.1% higher than Wednesday's closing price. The stock closed at $18.39 Wednesday and opened today's trading at $20.24.

The average volume for Protective Life has been 923,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Protective Life has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are down 31% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

Protective Life Corporation and its subsidiaries engage in the production, distribution, and administration of insurance and investment products in the United States. It operates in five segments: Life Marketing, Acquisitions, Annuities, Stable Value Products, and Asset Protection. The company has a P/E ratio of five, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Protective Life as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and disappointing return on equity. You can view the full Protective Life Ratings Report.

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