Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (HIG): Today's Featured Insurance Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Hartford Financial Services Group ( HIG) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Hartford Financial Services Group fell $0.58 (-1.9%) to $30.78 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7,885,807 shares of Hartford Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,387,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $30.63-$31.09 after having opened the day at $30.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.36. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: National Security Group ( NSEC), down 5.1%, CorVel Corporation ( CRVL), down 4.1%, Eastern Insurance Holdings ( EIHI), down 2.8% and HCI Group ( HCI), down 2.7%.

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers primarily in the United States and Japan. Hartford Financial Services Group has a market cap of $14.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 40.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Hartford Financial Services Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hartford Financial Services Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the positive front, Atlas Financial Holdings ( AFH), up 4.9%, American Independence Corporation ( AMIC), up 4.6%, American Safety Insurance Holdings ( ASI), up 3.5% and Federated National ( FNHC), up 2.5% , were all gainers within the insurance industry with PartnerRe ( PRE) 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).

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