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 closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Aflac rose $0.58 (1.1%) to $55.69 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,473,699 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,312,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $54.53-$55.98 after having opened the day at $54.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.11. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Triple-S Management Corporation ( GTS), up 5.7%, National Security Group ( NSEC), up 3.8%, Aegon ( AEG), up 3.2% and Primerica ( PRI), up 2.8%.
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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 $25.6 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.

On the negative front, Erie Indemnity Company ( ERIE), down 4.3%, MGIC Investment Corporation ( MTG), down 4.2%, Baldwin & Lyons ( BWINA), down 3.9% and First American Financial ( FAF), down 3.5% , were all laggards within the insurance industry with Cincinnati Financial Corporation ( CINF) 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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