MetLife Inc (MET): Today's Featured Insurance Laggard

MetLife ( MET) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, MetLife fell $0.54 (-1.1%) to $48.54 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6,577,788 shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,950,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $48.49-$49.06 after having opened the day at $48.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.08. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: National Security Group ( NSEC), down 5.5%, Navigators Group ( NAVG), down 2.2% and CNinsure ( CISG), down 1.9%.

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 $53.2 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 47.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 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, Crawford & Company ( CRD.B), up 15.6%, Crawford & Company ( CRD.A), up 9.2%, American Independence Corporation ( AMIC), up 6.3% and Independence Holding Company ( IHC), up 4.9% , were all gainers within the insurance industry with XL Group ( XL) being today's featured insurance industry leader.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.
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