3 Stocks Pushing The Insurance Industry Higher

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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 22 points (0.2%) at 12,810 as of Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,635 issues advancing vs. 1,204 declining with 167 unchanged.

The Insurance industry currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.0%. A company within the industry that increased today was Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B), up 0.6%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

3. Sun Life Financial ( SLF) is one of the companies pushing the Insurance industry higher today. As of noon trading, Sun Life Financial is up $0.21 (0.8%) to $26.97 on average volume Thus far, 246,492 shares of Sun Life Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 367,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $26.60-$27.03 after having opened the day at $26.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.76.

Sun Life Financial Inc., an international financial services organization, provides a range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial has a market cap of $15.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 44.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Sun Life Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sun Life Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Sun Life Financial Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) is up $0.06 (0.5%) to $12.24 on light volume Thus far, 643,066 shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $12.13-$12.27 after having opened the day at $12.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.18.

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection and wealth management products and services to individuals and group customers primarily in Asia, Canada, and the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation has a market cap of $22.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 43.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Manulife Financial Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Manulife Financial Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full Manulife Financial Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A) is up $731.00 (0.6%) to $130,934.00 on light volume Thus far, 204 shares of Berkshire Hathaway exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $130,170.00-$130,998.50 after having opened the day at $130,300.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $130,203.00.

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 $119.5 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 1940.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Berkshire Hathaway as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full Berkshire Hathaway Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: 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.

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