XL Group PLC (XL): Today's Featured Insurance Loser

XL Group ( XL) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance loser. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, XL Group fell 34 cents (-1.5%) to $21.72 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.5 million shares of XL Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $21.50-$22.16 after having opened the day at $22.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.06. Other company's within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Axis Capital Holdings ( AXS), down 4.2% and Investors Title Company ( ITIC), down 1.7%.

XL Group plc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and reinsurance coverages to industrial, commercial, and professional firms, as well as insurance companies and other enterprises worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Insurance, Reinsurance, and Life Operations. XL Group has a market cap of $6.83 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 9.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate XL Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates XL Group as a hold. 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 and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, 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%, were all gainers within the insurance industry with Progressive Corporation ( PGR) 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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