Brown & Brown Inc. (BRO): 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.

Brown & Brown ( BRO) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Brown & Brown fell $2.40 (-7.8%) to $28.28 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6,876,997 shares of Brown & Brown exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,005,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $28.00-$29.06 after having opened the day at $28.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.68. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Citizens ( CIA), down 3.1%, Greenlight Capital Re ( GLRE), down 2.6%, Stewart Information Services ( STC), down 1.9% and Selective Insurance Group ( SIGI), down 1.8%.

Brown & Brown, Inc. engages in the marketing and sale of insurance products and services in the United States. Its Retail division provides insurance products and services to commercial, public and quasi-public entity, professional, and individual customers. Brown & Brown has a market cap of $4.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Brown & Brown a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Brown & Brown as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the positive front, Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), up 16.4%, Prudential ( PUK), up 4.9%, CNinsure ( CISG), up 4.2% and Mercury General Corporation ( MCY), up 3.4% , were all gainers within the insurance industry with Loews Corporation ( L) 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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