Aflac Inc (AFL): 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

Aflac ( AFL) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Aflac rose $0.69 (1.3%) to $55.58 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,613,163 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,361,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $54.77-$55.89 after having opened the day at $54.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.89. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: ING US ( VOYA), up 5.4%, Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), up 4.3%, Phoenix Companies ( PNX), up 4.3% and Imperial Holdings ( IFT), up 3.8%.
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Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance products. Aflac has a market cap of $25.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, FBL Financial Group ( FFG), down 2.3%, American Independence Corporation ( AMIC), down 1.7%, Triple-S Management Corporation ( GTS), down 1.6% and United Fire Group ( UFCS), down 1.6% , were all laggards within the insurance industry with Travelers Companies ( TRV) 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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