3 Stocks Moving The Insurance Industry Upward

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 196 points (1.1%) at 17,361 as of Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,282 issues advancing vs. 826 declining with 107 unchanged.

The Insurance industry as a whole closed the day up 1.7% versus the S&P 500, which was up 1.3%. Top gainers within the Insurance industry included National Security Group ( NSEC), up 7.0%, Oxbridge Re Holdings ( OXBR), up 2.2%, Independence ( IHC), up 1.6%, Imperial Holdings ( IFT), up 1.5% and Investors Title ( ITIC), up 2.9%.

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

Investors Title ( ITIC) is one of the companies that pushed the Insurance industry higher today. Investors Title was up $2.05 (2.9%) to $73.79 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,937 shares of Investors Title exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $70.48-$73.79 after having opened the day at $70.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $71.74.

Investors Title Company, through its subsidiaries, provides title insurance to residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial properties in the United States. Investors Title has a market cap of $143.0 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 3.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Investors Title a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Investors Title as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ITIC go as follows:

  • ITIC 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.
  • INVESTORS TITLE CO 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, INVESTORS TITLE CO increased its bottom line by earning $7.08 versus $5.25 in the prior year.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 21.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 12.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for INVESTORS TITLE CO is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.85%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 8.79% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $5.46 million or 36.21% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Investors Title 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, Imperial Holdings ( IFT) was up $0.09 (1.5%) to $6.03 on light volume. Throughout the day, 15,899 shares of Imperial Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 31,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $5.90-$6.03 after having opened the day at $5.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.94.

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 $127.8 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 8.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on IFT go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.96, 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 gross profit margin for IMPERIAL HOLDINGS INC is currently very high, coming in at 291.82%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 124.77% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • IFT, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 124.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to -$9.18 million or 9.25% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • 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 Consumer Finance industry and the overall market, IMPERIAL HOLDINGS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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.

Independence ( IHC) was another company that pushed the Insurance industry higher today. Independence was up $0.20 (1.6%) to $12.91 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6,252 shares of Independence exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $12.20-$13.01 after having opened the day at $13.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.71.

Independence Holding Company provides life and health insurance products in the United States, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Independence has a market cap of $226.7 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 8.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Independence a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Independence as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on IHC go as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry average. The net income increased by 29.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $3.64 million to $4.71 million.
  • IHC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.15 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • 41.17% is the gross profit margin for INDEPENDENCE HOLDING CO 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 3.63% trails the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • INDEPENDENCE HOLDING CO has improved earnings per share by 28.6% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, INDEPENDENCE HOLDING CO reported lower earnings of $0.78 versus $1.10 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Independence 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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