3 Stocks Boosting The Insurance Industry Higher

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.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 16 points (0.1%) at 16,738 as of Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,467 issues advancing vs. 1,547 declining with 149 unchanged.

The Insurance industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.2%. Top gainers within the Insurance industry included Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), up 1.6%, Kansas City Life Insurance ( KCLI), up 1.7%, Atlas Financial Holdings ( AFH), up 2.4%, Imperial Holdings ( IFT), up 1.6% and National General Holdings ( NGHC), up 1.9%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Imperial Holdings ( IFT) is one of the companies that pushed the Insurance industry higher today. Imperial Holdings was up $0.10 (1.6%) to $6.23 on light volume. Throughout the day, 35,633 shares of Imperial Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 169,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $6.03-$6.25 after having opened the day at $6.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.13.

Imperial Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty finance company in the United States. As of December 31, 2013, it owned and managed a portfolio of 612 life insurance policies, also referred to as life settlements. Imperial Holdings, Inc. Imperial Holdings has a market cap of $132.9 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 6.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Imperial Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Imperial Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on IFT go as follows:

  • IFT's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 317.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.95, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Consumer Finance industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 22.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$4.33 million to -$3.34 million.
  • IFT has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.08% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to -$5.62 million or 38.72% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 38.72%, IMPERIAL HOLDINGS INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -46.63%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Imperial Holdings Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close, Atlas Financial Holdings ( AFH) was up $0.36 (2.4%) to $15.49 on light volume. Throughout the day, 39,245 shares of Atlas Financial Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 62,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $14.71-$15.49 after having opened the day at $15.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.13.

Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is engaged in underwriting commercial automobile insurance policies in the United States. The company focuses on the light commercial automobile sector. Atlas Financial Holdings has a market cap of $141.9 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Atlas Financial Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Atlas Financial Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on AFH go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 36.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • AFH has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 264.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.60 million to $2.19 million.
  • The gross profit margin for ATLAS FINANCIAL HOLDINGS INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 9.65%. Regardless of AFH's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, AFH's net profit margin of 9.64% compares favorably to the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Atlas Financial Holdings Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI) was another company that pushed the Insurance industry higher today. Life Partners Holdings was up $0.04 (1.6%) to $2.54 on average volume. Throughout the day, 37,700 shares of Life Partners Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 35,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.46-$2.56 after having opened the day at $2.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.50.

Life Partners Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, Life Partners, Inc., operates in the secondary market for life insurance worldwide. It facilitates the sale of life settlements between sellers and purchasers, but does not take possession or control of the policies. Life Partners Holdings has a market cap of $46.4 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 40.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Life Partners Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Life Partners Holdings as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LPHI go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Financial Services industry. The net income has decreased by 24.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$0.75 million to -$0.94 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Financial Services industry and the overall market, LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.31 million or 129.82% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Looking at the price performance of LPHI's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 28.37%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC's earnings per share declined by 25.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable Earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. During the past fiscal year, LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.16 versus -$0.17 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Life Partners Holdings Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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.

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