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 was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Hartford Financial Services Group rose $0.41 (1.2%) to $34.88 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,470,118 shares of Hartford Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,964,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $34.54-$35.04 after having opened the day at $34.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.47. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Kingstone Companies ( KINS), up 4.3%, Independence Holding Company ( IHC), up 3.7%, Phoenix Companies ( PNX), up 1.8% and Blue Capital Reinsurance Holdings ( BCRH), up 1.7%.

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 $15.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Hartford Financial Services Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, National Security Group ( NSEC), down 6.1%, Aviva ( AV), down 3.2%, Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), down 3.1% and Prudential ( PUK), down 2.8% , were all laggards within the insurance industry with Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) 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.

More from Markets

Facebook Prepares for Earnings and 4 Other Stories You Must Know Wednesday

Facebook Prepares for Earnings and 4 Other Stories You Must Know Wednesday

Facebook's Investors Have a Big Day Ahead

Facebook's Investors Have a Big Day Ahead

Facebook, Boeing, Shire and Credit Suisse - 5 Things You Must Know

Facebook, Boeing, Shire and Credit Suisse - 5 Things You Must Know

The Global Stock Market Rout Spreads Across the World

The Global Stock Market Rout Spreads Across the World

Comcast Details $30 Billion Bid for Britain's Sky in Takeover Battle With Fox

Comcast Details $30 Billion Bid for Britain's Sky in Takeover Battle With Fox