3 Stocks Pushing The Insurance Industry Lower

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 lower today:

3. ACE ( ACE) is one of the companies pushing the Insurance industry lower today. As of noon trading, ACE is down $0.55 (-0.7%) to $78.09 on light volume Thus far, 353,276 shares of ACE exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $77.91-$78.52 after having opened the day at $78.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.64.

ACE Limited, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of insurance and reinsurance products to insureds worldwide. ACE has a market cap of $26.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate ACE a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ACE as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full ACE Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Aflac ( AFL) is down $0.42 (-0.8%) to $50.54 on light volume Thus far, 799,274 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $50.45-$51.24 after having opened the day at $51.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.96.

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance. Aflac has a market cap of $24.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 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. Get the full Aflac Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Allstate ( ALL) is down $0.28 (-0.7%) to $39.80 on light volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Allstate exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.70-$40.24 after having opened the day at $40.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.08.

The Allstate Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the personal property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and retirement and investment products business primarily in the United States. Allstate has a market cap of $19.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 44.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Allstate a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Allstate as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Allstate 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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