Aflac ( AFL) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance loser. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.1%. By the end of trading, Aflac fell 65 cents (-1.5%) to $42.24 on average volume. Throughout the day, four million shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $41.64-$43.67 after having opened the day at $43.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.89. Other company's within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Phoenix Companies ( PNX), down 6.1%, National Security Group ( NSEC), down 5%, ING Groep N.V ( ING), down 4.8%, and Protective Life ( PL), down 4.7%. Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac), provides supplemental health and life insurance. Aflac has a market cap of $20.44 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.1, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 22.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold. TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
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).