Loews Corporation (L): Today's Featured Insurance Laggard

Loews Corporation ( L) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Loews Corporation fell $2.16 (-5.2%) to $39.54 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2.6 million shares of Loews Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $39.11-$41.02 after having opened the day at $40.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.70. Other company's within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Mercury General Corporation ( MCY), down 5.8%, Homeowners Choice ( HCII), down 4.7%, American Independence Corporation ( AMIC), down 3.7%, and CNA Financial ( CNA), down 3.6%.

Loews Corporation operates primarily as a commercial property and casualty insurance company. Loews Corporation has a market cap of $16.27 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.6, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Loews Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Loews Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, CNO Financial Group ( CNO), up 4.7%, Crawford & Company ( CRD.A), up 4.5%, MGIC Investment Corporation ( MTG), up 4.3%, and Kingstone Companies ( KINS), up 3.8%, were all gainers within the insurance industry with MetLife ( MET) being today's featured insurance industry leader.

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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