Assured Guaranty Ltd (AGO): Today's Featured Insurance Winner

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Assured Guaranty ( AGO) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Assured Guaranty rose $0.70 (3.2%) to $22.61 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4,965,096 shares of Assured Guaranty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,663,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.00-$22.98 after having opened the day at $21.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.91. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: American Independence Corporation ( AMIC), up 3.6%, Employers Holdings ( EIG), up 3.4%, First Acceptance Corporation ( FAC), up 2.9% and CNinsure ( CISG), up 2.3%.

Assured Guaranty Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides credit protection products to public finance, infrastructure, and structured finance markets in the United States and internationally. Assured Guaranty has a market cap of $4.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 52.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Assured Guaranty a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Assured Guaranty 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, compelling growth in net income and reasonable valuation levels. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), down 7.0%, EMC Insurance Group ( EMCI), down 4.5%, State Auto Financial Corporation ( STFC), down 4.0% and Hallmark Financial Services ( HALL), down 3.3% , were all laggards within the insurance industry with Radian Group ( RDN) 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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