Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC): Today's Featured Insurance Winner

Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Manulife Financial Corporation rose 8 cents (0.7%) to $10.18 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.2 million shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $9.97-$10.26 after having opened the day at $10.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.11. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Phoenix Companies ( PNX), up 6.5%, ING Groep N.V ( ING), up 4.7%, Citizens ( CIA), up 4.5%, and Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings ( FSR), up 4.4%.

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection and wealth management products and services to individuals and group customers primarily in Asia, Canada, and the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation has a market cap of $19.37 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 97.5, above the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 75.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Manulife Financial Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Manulife Financial Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

On the negative front, Baldwin & Lyons ( BWINA), down 4.3%, Assured Guaranty ( AGO), down 4.2%, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), down 3.3%, and First Acceptance Corporation ( FAC), down 3%, were all losers within the insurance industry with Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A) 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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