Aflac Inc (AFL): 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.

Aflac ( AFL) 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, Aflac fell $0.64 (-1.0%) to $62.72 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,476,765 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,886,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $61.86-$62.91 after having opened the day at $62.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.36. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Willis Group Holdings ( WSH), down 5.1%, Axis Capital Holdings ( AXS), down 2.5%, Triple-S Management ( GTS), down 2.2% and Hilltop Holdings ( HTH), down 1.9%.

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance products. It operates through two segments, Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. Aflac has a market cap of $28.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), up 6.5%, Blue Capital Reinsurance Holdings ( BCRH), up 5.9%, MGIC Investment ( MTG), up 3.5% and StanCorp Financial Group ( SFG), up 2.8% , were all gainers within the insurance industry with Hartford Financial Services Group ( HIG) 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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