Aflac Inc (AFL): Today's Featured Insurance Winner

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.

Aflac ( AFL) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Aflac rose 50 cents (1%) to $50.14 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, four million shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $49.50-$50.71 after having opened the day at $49.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.64. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Donegal Group ( DGICB), up 17.2%, Donegal Group ( DGICA), up 3.8%, American Equity Investment Life Holding Com ( AEL), up 2.6%, and CNinsure ( CISG), up 2.1%.
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Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance. Aflac has a market cap of $23.46 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac 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, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. 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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