Aflac ( AFL) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance loser. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.3%. By the end of trading, Aflac fell 87 cents (-2%) to $43.48 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.4 million shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $43.12-$44.18 after having opened the day at $44.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.35. Other company's within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Erie Indemnity Company ( ERIE), down 9%, Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), down 6.3%, FBL Financial Group ( FFG), down 6%, and Aon plc ( AON), down 5.8%. Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance. Aflac has a market cap of $21.03 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, one analyst rates 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, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.
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).