Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC): 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.

Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Manulife Financial Corporation rose $0.21 (1.1%) to $19.15 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,574,091 shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,137,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $19.07-$19.29 after having opened the day at $19.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.94. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Citizens ( CIA), up 4.4%, HCI Group ( HCI), up 3.1%, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), up 2.8% and Assured Guaranty ( AGO), up 2.6%.

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection and wealth management products and services to individual, corporate, and business customers primarily in Asia, Canada, and the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation has a market cap of $35.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Manulife Financial Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Manulife Financial 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, United Insurance Holdings ( UIHC), down 4.3%, American National Insurance ( ANAT), down 3.6%, American Independence Corporation ( AMIC), down 2.8% and Employers Holdings ( EIG), down 2.5% , were all laggards within the insurance industry with Everest Re Group ( RE) 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).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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