Prudential Financial Inc (PRU): Today's Featured Insurance Laggard

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Prudential Financial ( PRU) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 2.7%. By the end of trading, Prudential Financial fell $3.94 (-4.7%) to $80.45 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3,261,322 shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,113,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $80.35-$84.79 after having opened the day at $84.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $84.39. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), down 8.6%, Independence Holding Company ( IHC), down 8.3%, StanCorp Financial Group ( SFG), down 6.8% and eHealth ( EHTH), down 6.4%.

Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides a range of insurance, investment management, and other financial products and services to both individual and institutional customers in the United States and internationally. Prudential Financial has a market cap of $39.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 8.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Prudential Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, MBIA ( MBI), up 2.8% and CNinsure ( CISG), up 2.4%.

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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