3 Stocks Pushing The Insurance Industry Lower

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The Insurance industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.4%. Laggards within the Insurance industry included Atlantic American ( AAME), down 2.3%, Crawford & Company ( CRD.A), down 2.0%, Imperial Holdings ( IFT), down 2.9%, AMERISAFE ( AMSF), down 2.5% and United Insurance Holdings ( UIHC), down 1.9%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today:

United Insurance Holdings ( UIHC) is one of the companies that pushed the Insurance industry lower today. United Insurance Holdings was down $0.31 (1.9%) to $16.27 on light volume. Throughout the day, 111,735 shares of United Insurance Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 294,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $16.12-$16.65 after having opened the day at $16.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.58.

United Insurance Holdings has a market cap of $344.2 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 17.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate United Insurance Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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At the close, AMERISAFE ( AMSF) was down $1.02 (2.5%) to $39.39 on average volume. Throughout the day, 79,355 shares of AMERISAFE exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 61,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $39.14-$40.68 after having opened the day at $40.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.41.

AMERISAFE, Inc., an insurance holding company, markets and underwrites workers' compensation insurance for small to mid-sized employers engaged in construction, trucking, manufacturing, oil and gas, agriculture, maritime, and logging industries. AMERISAFE has a market cap of $773.7 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 4.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate AMERISAFE a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates AMERISAFE 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on AMSF go as follows:

  • AMSF's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • AMSF 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.
  • AMERISAFE INC has improved earnings per share by 19.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, AMERISAFE INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.32 versus $1.59 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.53 versus $2.32).
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $30.29 million or 39.07% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 4.28%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Insurance industry average. The net income increased by 19.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $8.85 million to $10.55 million.

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

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Imperial Holdings ( IFT) was another company that pushed the Insurance industry lower today. Imperial Holdings was down $0.20 (2.9%) to $6.74 on light volume. Throughout the day, 27,640 shares of Imperial Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 135,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $6.74-$6.93 after having opened the day at $6.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.94.

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 $144.4 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 6.1% 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.

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.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on IFT go as follows:

  • IFT's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.3%. 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.
  • 49.08% is the gross profit margin for IMPERIAL HOLDINGS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -24.53% is in-line with the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, IFT has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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 -46.38%.

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.

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