Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (HIG): 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

Hartford Financial Services Group ( HIG) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Hartford Financial Services Group rose $0.37 (1.2%) to $31.16 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,245,153 shares of Hartford Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,539,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $30.86-$31.51 after having opened the day at $30.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.79. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Donegal Group ( DGICB), up 7.2%, ING Groep N.V ( ING), up 5.6%, Aegon ( AEG), up 4.8% and Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), up 4.3%.
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The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers primarily in the United States and Japan. Hartford Financial Services Group has a market cap of $14.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 37.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Hartford Financial Services Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hartford Financial Services Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the negative front, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), down 3.0%, Montpelier RE Holdings ( MRH), down 2.9%, CNinsure ( CISG), down 2.7% and Endurance Specialty Holdings ( ENH), down 2.0% , were all laggards within the insurance industry with Axis Capital Holdings ( AXS) 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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