Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG): Today's Featured Insurance Laggard

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Arthur J. Gallagher ( AJG) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Arthur J. Gallagher fell $1.10 (-2.5%) to $43.59 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,630,033 shares of Arthur J. Gallagher exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 651,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $43.50-$44.90 after having opened the day at $44.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.69. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Baldwin & Lyons ( BWINA), down 4.3%, Atlantic American ( AAME), down 2.2%, ING Groep N.V ( ING), down 2.0% and Hilltop Holdings ( HTH), down 1.7%.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and its subsidiaries provide insurance brokerage and risk management services to various commercial, industrial, institutional, and governmental organizations. It operates in two segments, Brokerage and Risk Management. Arthur J. Gallagher has a market cap of $6.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Arthur J. Gallagher a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Arthur J. Gallagher as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in stock price during the past year, notable return on equity 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, MGIC Investment Corporation ( MTG), up 4.9%, Crawford & Company ( CRD.B), up 3.8%, State Auto Financial Corporation ( STFC), up 3.1% and Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), up 3.0% , were all gainers within the insurance industry with Aflac ( AFL) 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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