Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC): Today's Featured Insurance Laggard

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Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) 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, Manulife Financial Corporation fell $0.39 (-2.2%) to $17.32 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,081,097 shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,962,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $17.26-$17.57 after having opened the day at $17.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.71. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), down 6.5%, Argo Group International Holdings ( AGII), down 4.7%, First Acceptance Corporation ( FAC), down 4.5% and Hilltop Holdings ( HTH), down 4.4%.

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 $32.7 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 30.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 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 buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, 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.

On the positive front, Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), up 8.4%, ING Groep N.V ( ING), up 6.6%, National Security Group ( NSEC), up 4.9% and HCI Group ( HCI), up 3.5%.

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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