MetLife Inc (MET): 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

MetLife ( MET) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, MetLife fell $0.48 (-1.1%) to $42.82 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6,491,146 shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,832,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $42.74-$43.71 after having opened the day at $43.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.30. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: MBIA ( MBI), down 3.6%, AMERISAFE ( AMSF), down 3.4%, Aegon ( AEG), down 2.3% and Travelers Companies ( TRV), down 2.2%.
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MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. MetLife has a market cap of $47.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 31.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Phoenix Companies ( PNX), down 7.7%, Triple-S Management Corporation ( GTS), down 4.8%, First Acceptance Corporation ( FAC), down 2.9% and Crawford & Company ( CRD.A), down 2.6%.

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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