Assured Guaranty Ltd (AGO): 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.

Assured Guaranty ( AGO) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Assured Guaranty rose 42 cents (2.1%) to $20.65 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.2 million shares of Assured Guaranty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $20.26-$20.78 after having opened the day at $20.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.23. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Unico American Corporation ( UNAM), up 4.1%, Old Republic International ( ORI), up 1.6%, and Crawford & Company ( CRD.B), up 1.6%.
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Assured Guaranty Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides credit protection products to public finance, infrastructure, and structured finance markets primarily in the United States, Europe, and Australia. Assured Guaranty has a market cap of $3.92 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 35.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 42.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Assured Guaranty a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Assured Guaranty as a hold. 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 and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

On the negative front, Meadowbrook Insurance Group ( MIG), down 10%, China Life Insurance ( LFC), down 3.9%, State Auto Financial ( STFC), down 2.7%, and Citizens ( CIA), down 2.7%, were all laggards within the insurance industry with Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B) being today's insurance industry laggard.

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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