Prudential Financial Inc ( PRU) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance loser. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Prudential Financial Inc fell 86 cents (-1.6%) to $52.19 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.3 million shares of Prudential Financial Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $51.32-$52.57 after having opened the day at $52.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.05. Other company's within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings ( FSR), down 7.6%, Affirmative Insurance Holdings Inc ( AFFM), down 6.4%, National Interstate Corporation ( NATL), down 5%, and Citizens Inc ( CIA), down 4.5%.

Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, offers various financial products and services in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The company operates through three divisions: The U.S. Retirement Solutions and Investment Management, The U.S. Prudential Financial Inc has a market cap of $26.2 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.3, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, Homeowners Choice Inc ( HCII), up 6.3%, Allied World Assurance Company Holdings ( AWH), up 5.4%, Validus Holdings Inc ( VR), up 4.7%, and Argo Group International Holdings ( AGII), up 3.5%, were all gainers within the insurance industry with Genworth Financial Inc ( GNW) 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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