Prudential Financial Inc (PRU): 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

Prudential Financial ( PRU) 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, Prudential Financial fell $0.97 (-1.7%) to $54.91 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,922,001 shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,102,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $54.58-$56.00 after having opened the day at $55.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.88. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Phoenix Companies ( PNX), down 5.3%, RLI Corporation ( RLI), down 2.8%, Old Republic International ( ORI), down 2.8% and Tower Group ( TWGP), down 2.6%.
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Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides a range of insurance, investment management, and other financial products and services to both individual and institutional customers in the United States and internationally. Prudential Financial has a market cap of $26.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 62.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Baldwin & Lyons ( BWINB), down 3.0%, State Auto Financial Corporation ( STFC), down 2.4%, United Fire Group ( UFCS), down 2.2% and EMC Insurance Group ( EMCI), down 2.1%.

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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