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The Insurance industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.3%. Laggards within the Insurance industry included Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), down 4.3%, Baldwin & Lyons ( BWINA), down 4.2%, Oxbridge Re Holdings ( OXBR), down 1.9%, First Acceptance ( FAC), down 5.3% and National Interstate ( NATL), down 7.6%.

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

Federated National ( FNHC) is one of the companies that pushed the Insurance industry lower today. Federated National was down $1.09 (4.5%) to $23.27 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 361,983 shares of Federated National exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 199,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $23.18-$26.30 after having opened the day at $26.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.36.

Federated National Holding Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the insurance underwriting, distribution, and claims processing in the United States. Federated National has a market cap of $258.8 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 66.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Federated National a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Federated National as a buy. 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, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on FNHC go as follows:

  • FNHC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 127.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • FNHC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.04 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, FEDERATED NATIONAL HLDG CO's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 155.17% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 122.63% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, FNHC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • FEDERATED NATIONAL HLDG CO reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, FEDERATED NATIONAL HLDG CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.45 versus $0.53 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.70 versus $1.45).

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

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At the close, National Interstate ( NATL) was down $2.15 (7.6%) to $26.03 on average volume. Throughout the day, 33,320 shares of National Interstate exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 24,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $25.60-$27.50 after having opened the day at $27.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.18.

National Interstate Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty property and casualty insurance company in the United States. National Interstate has a market cap of $553.3 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 22.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate National Interstate a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates National Interstate 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 and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NATL go as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 7.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • NATL's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.03 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • NATIONAL INTERSTATE CORP reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NATIONAL INTERSTATE CORP reported lower earnings of $0.89 versus $1.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.58 versus $0.89).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Insurance industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 0.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $8.02 million to $8.06 million.
  • The gross profit margin for NATIONAL INTERSTATE CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 8.74%. Regardless of NATL's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 5.60% trails the industry average.

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

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Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI) was another company that pushed the Insurance industry lower today. Life Partners Holdings was down $0.10 (4.3%) to $2.16 on average volume. Throughout the day, 14,439 shares of Life Partners Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 16,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $2.15-$2.26 after having opened the day at $2.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.25.

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 $42.3 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 26.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

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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 significantly decreased by 203.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.68 million to -$1.74 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. 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.
  • The share price of LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC has not done very well: it is down 13.41% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.
  • LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.13 versus -$0.16 in the prior year.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 61.65% to -$1.10 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -18.61%.

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

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