Assured Guaranty Ltd (AGO): Today's Featured Financial 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.

Assured Guaranty ( AGO) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Assured Guaranty fell 25 cents (-1.2%) to $20.31 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.9 million shares of Assured Guaranty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $20.26-$20.86 after having opened the day at $20.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.56. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: National Bank of Greece ( NBG), down 8.1%, Credit Suisse ( DGAZ), down 7.4%, Broadway Financial ( BYFC), down 7.2%, and Oak Ridge Financial Services ( BKOR), down 6.9%.
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Assured Guaranty Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides credit protection products to public finance, infrastructure, and structured finance markets in the United States and internationally. Assured Guaranty has a market cap of $4.07 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.7, 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 Monday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Assured Guaranty a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates 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 also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Altisource Residential Corporation ( RESI), up 27.9%, Independent Bank Corp (Ionia MI ( IBCP), up 13.6%, Porter Bancorp ( PBIB), up 9%, and China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), up 8.4%, were all gainers within the financial sector with American Express ( AXP) being today's featured financial sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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