MetLife Inc (MET): 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.

MetLife ( MET) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, MetLife fell 47 cents (-1.3%) to $37.25 on light volume. Throughout the day, 7.1 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $37.20-$37.88 after having opened the day at $37.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.72. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Unico American Corporation ( UNAM), down 4.8%, American Independence Corporation ( AMIC), down 4.5%, United Fire Group ( UFCS), down 4.3%, and CNinsure ( CISG), down 4%.
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MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. MetLife has a market cap of $41.06 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor 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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