Prudential Financial Inc (PRU): Today's Featured Insurance Winner

Prudential Financial ( PRU) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Prudential Financial rose $0.80 (1.1%) to $74.10 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,183,072 shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,101,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $73.12-$74.20 after having opened the day at $73.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $73.30. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Safety Insurance Group ( SAFT), up 2.9%, Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), up 2.6%, National Interstate Corporation ( NATL), up 2.6% and CorVel Corporation ( CRVL), up 2.1%.

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 $33.9 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 51.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 36.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, National Security Group ( NSEC), down 7.5%, Stewart Information Services ( STC), down 3.4%, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), down 3.2% and HCI Group ( HCI), down 2.8% , 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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