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 down 0.3%. Laggards within the Insurance industry included Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), down 3.8%, Unico American ( UNAM), down 1.6%, Oxbridge Re Holdings ( OXBR), down 2.8%, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), down 1.7% and Crawford & Company ( CRD.B), down 2.4%.

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

Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE) is one of the companies that pushed the Insurance industry lower today. Universal Insurance Holdings was down $0.61 (3.2%) to $18.63 on light volume. Throughout the day, 164,476 shares of Universal Insurance Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 297,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $18.61-$19.25 after having opened the day at $19.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.24.

Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various property and casualty insurance products. It primarily underwrites homeowners' insurance products; and offers reinsurance intermediary brokerage services. Universal Insurance Holdings has a market cap of $647.2 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 32.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Universal Insurance Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Universal Insurance Holdings 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on UVE go as follows:

  • UVE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 22.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 32.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • UVE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.16 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, UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HLDGS's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HLDGS is rather high; currently it is at 66.97%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.61% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 740.04% to $35.71 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HLDGS has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 25.77%.

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

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At the close, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS) was down $0.10 (1.7%) to $5.66 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,822 shares of Kingsway Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 39,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $5.62-$5.74 after having opened the day at $5.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.76.

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 $109.6 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 47.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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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 1.38 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.
  • 44.12% is the gross profit margin for KINGSWAY FINANCIAL SVCS 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 -9.71% 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 52.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$10.29 million to -$4.92 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.

Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI) was another company that pushed the Insurance industry lower today. Life Partners Holdings was down $0.05 (3.8%) to $1.18 on average volume. Throughout the day, 27,312 shares of Life Partners Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 32,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.15-$1.26 after having opened the day at $1.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.23.

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 $23.9 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 30.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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 302.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$1.79 million to -$7.21 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.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 31.50%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 290.00% compared to 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 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 increased to -$1.63 million or 27.77% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 57.47%.

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.

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