Progressive Corporation (PGR): 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.

Progressive Corporation ( PGR) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Progressive Corporation fell $0.45 (-1.6%) to $27.45 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,484,517 shares of Progressive Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,350,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $27.32-$27.88 after having opened the day at $27.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.90. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: State Auto Financial Corporation ( STFC), down 3.5%, Citizens ( CIA), down 3.1%, American National Insurance ( ANAT), down 2.2% and United Fire Group ( UFCS), down 2.1%.

The Progressive Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides personal and commercial automobile insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance products and related services primarily in the United States. Progressive Corporation has a market cap of $16.9 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 32.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Progressive Corporation a buy, 7 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Progressive Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Blue Capital Reinsurance Holdings ( BCRH), up 3.6%, Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), up 3.0%, MGIC Investment Corporation ( MTG), up 2.4% and Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), up 2.2% , were all gainers within the insurance industry with Assured Guaranty ( AGO) 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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