Progressive Corporation (PGR): Today's Featured Insurance Winner

Progressive Corporation ( PGR) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Progressive Corporation rose 12 cents (0.6%) to $21.51 on average volume. Throughout the day, five million shares of Progressive Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.27-$21.56 after having opened the day at $21.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.39. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: National Security Group ( NSEC), up 12.9%, Crawford & Company ( CRD.B), up 8.2%, Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), up 4.2%, and Kingstone Companies ( KINS), up 4.2%.

The Progressive Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides personal and commercial automobile insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance products and related services primarily in the United States. Progressive Corporation has a market cap of $13.09 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.5, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 14.8 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Progressive Corporation a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Progressive Corporation 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, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the negative front, Axis Capital Holdings ( AXS), down 4.2% and Investors Title Company ( ITIC), down 1.7%, were all losers within the insurance industry with XL Group ( XL) being today's insurance industry loser.

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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