3 Insurance Stocks Pushing The 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 89 points (0.5%) at 16,650 as of Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,238 issues advancing vs. 759 declining with 137 unchanged.

The Insurance industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.6%. Top gainers within the Insurance industry included Atlantic American ( AAME), up 2.9%, Kingstone Companies ( KINS), up 6.6%, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), up 4.3%, Tiptree Financial ( TIPT), up 2.1% and Citizens ( CIA), up 2.1%.

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

Citizens ( CIA) is one of the companies that pushed the Insurance industry higher today. Citizens was up $0.14 (2.1%) to $7.08 on light volume. Throughout the day, 40,090 shares of Citizens exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 74,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $6.90-$7.19 after having opened the day at $6.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.93.

Citizens, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides life insurance products in the United States and internationally. It primarily offers whole life insurance, endowments, credit insurance, final expense, and limited liability property policies. Citizens has a market cap of $348.0 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 20.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Citizens 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 Citizens as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CIA go as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Insurance industry average. The net income increased by 39.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.86 million to $1.20 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • CITIZENS INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, CITIZENS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.11 versus $0.09 in the prior year.
  • The gross profit margin for CITIZENS INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 4.80%. Regardless of CIA'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 2.25% trails the industry average.
  • CIA has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.28% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Citizens 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, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS) was up $0.29 (4.3%) to $6.96 on light volume. Throughout the day, 11,582 shares of Kingsway Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 18,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $6.49-$6.96 after having opened the day at $6.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.67.

Kingsway Financial Services Inc., through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the provision of property and casualty insurance products for individuals and businesses in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Insurance Underwriting and Insurance Services. Kingsway Financial Services has a market cap of $110.2 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 71.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Kingsway Financial Services 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 Kingsway Financial Services as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been very high debt management risk by most measures.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on KFS go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, KINGSWAY FINANCIAL SVCS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 42.10% is the gross profit margin for KINGSWAY FINANCIAL SVCS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -3.37% is in-line with the industry average.
  • KINGSWAY FINANCIAL SVCS INC 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 year. During the past fiscal year, KINGSWAY FINANCIAL SVCS INC continued to lose money by earning -$3.17 versus -$3.95 in the prior year.
  • 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 90.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$17.43 million to -$1.66 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Kingsway Financial Services 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.

Kingstone Companies ( KINS) was another company that pushed the Insurance industry higher today. Kingstone Companies was up $0.45 (6.6%) to $7.25 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 43,209 shares of Kingstone Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $7.00-$7.25 after having opened the day at $7.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.80.

Kingstone Companies, Inc., through its subsidiary, Kingstone Insurance Company, underwrites property and casualty insurance products to small businesses and individuals in New York. Kingstone Companies has a market cap of $49.2 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Kingstone Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kingstone Companies 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, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on KINS go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 34.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • KINS 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, KINS's share price has jumped by 29.98%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Insurance industry average. The net income increased by 71.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.19 million to $0.33 million.
  • KINGSTONE COS INC's earnings per share declined by 20.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, KINGSTONE COS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.51 versus $0.19 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.70 versus $0.51).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Kingstone Companies 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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