Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.B): 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.

Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Berkshire Hathaway fell 87 cents (-1%) to $84.58 on average volume. Throughout the day, five million shares of Berkshire Hathaway exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of four million shares. The stock ranged in price between $84.51-$86.48 after having opened the day at $85.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.45. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Phoenix Companies ( PNX), down 9.6%, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), down 7.9%, Investors Title Company ( ITIC), down 6.7%, and Triple-S Management Corporation ( GTS), down 6.3%.
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Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. is a publicly owned investment manager. Through its subsidiaries, the firm primarily engages in the insurance and reinsurance of property and casualty risks business. Berkshire Hathaway was founded in 1889 and is based in Omaha, Nebraska. Berkshire Hathaway has a market cap of $96 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Berkshire Hathaway 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 shows low profit margins.

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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