Allstate ( ALL) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Allstate rose 48 cents (1.5%) to $33.29 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.6 million shares of Allstate exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of four million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $32.82-$33.40 after having opened the day at $33.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.81. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Aflac ( AFL), up 7.8%, Crawford & Company ( CRD.B), up 6.2%, MGIC Investment Corporation ( MTG), up 5.8%, and Radian Group ( RDN), up 5.4%. The Allstate Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the personal property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and retirement and investment products business primarily in the United States. Allstate has a market cap of $16.02 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.5, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Allstate a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold. TheStreet Ratings rates Allstate as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.
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).