Assured Guaranty Ltd (AGO): 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.

Assured Guaranty ( AGO) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Assured Guaranty fell $0.34 (-1.7%) to $19.43 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,821,824 shares of Assured Guaranty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,816,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $19.41-$20.70 after having opened the day at $19.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.77. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Phoenix Companies ( PNX), down 3.7%, eHealth ( EHTH), down 3.7%, State Auto Financial Corporation ( STFC), down 3.1% and National Interstate Corporation ( NATL), down 3.0%.

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 $3.5 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 35.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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 hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the positive front, First Acceptance Corporation ( FAC), up 5.2%, Federated National ( FNHC), up 3.5%, 21st Century Holding Company ( TCHC), up 3.5% and CorVel Corporation ( CRVL), up 3.4% , were all gainers within the insurance industry with MGIC Investment Corporation ( MTG) 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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