Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (HIG): Today's Featured Financial 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.

Hartford Financial Services Group ( HIG) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Hartford Financial Services Group fell 31 cents (-1.5%) to $20.98 on average volume. Throughout the day, eight million shares of Hartford Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $20.90-$21.41 after having opened the day at $21.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.29. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: Atlantic Coast Financial ( ACFC), down 10.7%, VelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude ETN ( DWTI), down 8.6%, VelocityShares 3x Inverse Brent Crude ETN ( DOIL), down 8.2%, and American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), down 8.2%.
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The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services primarily in the United States and Japan. Hartford Financial Services Group has a market cap of $9.24 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 117.8, above the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 62.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 30.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Hartford Financial Services Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hartford Financial Services Group 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 solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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