Assured Guaranty Ltd (AGO): Today's Featured Financial 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 Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Assured Guaranty rose $0.47 (2.0%) to $23.67 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4,144,143 shares of Assured Guaranty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,016,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $22.79-$23.77 after having opened the day at $23.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.20. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Bank VA Chesterfield ( BOVA), up 13.5%, Cordia Bancorp ( BVA), up 13.5%, Capital ( CT), up 10.8% and Blackstone Mortgate ( BXMT), up 10.8%.
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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 $4.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 39.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 63.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Assured Guaranty a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 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 also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Donegal Group ( DGICB), down 9.2%, Doral Financial ( DRL), down 9.0%, INTL FCStone ( INTL), down 8.2% and Elbit Imaging ( EMITF), down 8.2% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Wells Fargo ( WFC) being today's financial sector laggard.

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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