Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CINF): Today's Featured Insurance Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Cincinnati Financial Corporation ( CINF) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Cincinnati Financial Corporation fell 50 cents (-1.3%) to $39.09 on average volume. Throughout the day, 839,798 shares of Cincinnati Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of one million shares. The stock ranged in price between $39.04-$39.88 after having opened the day at $39.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.59. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Homeowners Choice ( HCII), down 3.2%, National Interstate Corporation ( NATL), down 3.1%, Safety Insurance Group ( SAFT), down 2.4%, and Imperial Holdings ( IFT), down 2%.

Cincinnati Financial Corporation engages in the property casualty insurance business in the United States. Its Commercial Lines Property Casualty Insurance segment provides coverage for commercial casualty, commercial property, commercial auto, and workers' compensation. Cincinnati Financial Corporation has a market cap of $6.21 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.7, above the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 22.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Cincinnati Financial Corporation a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cincinnati Financial 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, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), up 32.8%, 21st Century Holding Company ( TCHC), up 4.2%, Greenlight Capital Re ( GLRE), up 4%, and Citizens ( CIA), up 3.3%, were all gainers within the insurance industry with Genworth Financial ( GNW) 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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