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

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 higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Hartford Financial Services Group rose $0.66 (1.9%) to $36.02 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,935,729 shares of Hartford Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,858,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $35.36-$36.04 after having opened the day at $35.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.36. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: First Acceptance Corporation ( FAC), up 7.6%, Donegal Group ( DGICB), up 4.3%, Primerica ( PRI), up 4.2% and eHealth ( EHTH), up 3.7%.

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 $15.5 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 42.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Hartford Financial Services Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hartford Financial Services Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, National Security Group ( NSEC), down 5.6%, MBIA ( MBI), down 2.3%, American Independence Corporation ( AMIC), down 2.2% and NMI Holdings Inc Class A ( NMIH), down 1.7% , were all laggards within the insurance industry with Assured Guaranty ( AGO) 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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