Today's Stocks Driving Success For The Insurance Industry

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

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 155 points (-1.0%) at 15,255 as of Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 466 issues advancing vs. 2,548 declining with 68 unchanged.

The Insurance industry currently sits down 0.58 versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.89. Top gainers within the industry include Aegon ( AEG), up 2.9%, and Sun Life Financial ( SLF), up 1.4%. A company within the industry that fell today was Erie Indemnity Company ( ERIE), up 4.99.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

5. Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) is one of the companies pushing the Insurance industry higher today. As of noon trading, Manulife Financial Corporation is up $0.28 (1.77) to $15.87 on average volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $15.46-$15.87 after having opened the day at $15.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.59.

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection and wealth management products and services to individual, corporate, and business customers primarily in Asia, Canada, and the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation has a market cap of $28.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Manulife Financial Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Manulife Financial Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall. Get the full Manulife Financial Corporation Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

4. As of noon trading, ING Groep N.V ( ING) is up $0.06 (0.60) to $9.24 on average volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of ING Groep N.V exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $9.18-$9.28 after having opened the day at $9.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.18.

ING Groep N.V., a financial services company, provides banking, investment, life insurance, and retirement services. ING Groep N.V has a market cap of $34.7 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates ING Groep N.V a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ING Groep N.V as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full ING Groep N.V Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

3. As of noon trading, Aflac ( AFL) is up $0.35 (0.63) to $55.46 on light volume Thus far, 933,261 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.53-$55.65 after having opened the day at $54.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.11.

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 $25.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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. Get the full Aflac Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

2. As of noon trading, Prudential Financial ( PRU) is up $1.56 (2.30) to $69.43 on average volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $66.82-$69.57 after having opened the day at $67.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.87.

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 $30.8 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 47.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 27.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Prudential Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial 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, reasonable 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. Get the full Prudential Financial Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

1. As of noon trading, MetLife ( MET) is up $0.77 (1.78) to $44.01 on average volume Thus far, 5.2 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.67-$44.12 after having opened the day at $42.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.24.

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 $46.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 27.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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. Get the full MetLife Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: 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.
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