3 Stocks Pushing The Insurance Industry Lower

The Insurance industry as a whole closed the day down 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.1%. Laggards within the Insurance industry included Till Capital ( TIL), down 5.0%, Oxbridge Re Holdings ( OXBR), down 2.1%, Donegal Group ( DGICA), down 1.6%, Citizens ( CIA), down 2.0% and PICO Holdings ( PICO), down 1.6%.

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

PICO Holdings ( PICO) is one of the companies that pushed the Insurance industry lower today. PICO Holdings was down $0.21 (1.6%) to $13.06 on average volume. Throughout the day, 114,642 shares of PICO Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 96,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $12.90-$13.27 after having opened the day at $13.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.27.

PICO Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in water resource and water storage, real estate, and agribusiness activities in the United States. PICO Holdings has a market cap of $302.7 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 29.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PICO go as follows:

  • PICO HOLDINGS INC's earnings per share declined by 25.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, PICO HOLDINGS INC reported poor results of -$2.30 versus -$0.98 in the prior year.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Diversified Financial Services industry average. The net income has significantly decreased by 27.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$13.25 million to -$16.83 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Financial Services industry and the overall market, PICO 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 45.36%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 25.86% 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.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further.

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

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At the close, Citizens ( CIA) was down $0.12 (2.0%) to $5.99 on average volume. Throughout the day, 83,025 shares of Citizens exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 105,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $5.96-$6.26 after having opened the day at $6.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.11.

Citizens, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides life insurance products in the United States and internationally. It operates through three segments: Life Insurance, Home Service Insurance, and Other Non-Insurance Enterprises. Citizens has a market cap of $304.8 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 19.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Citizens as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CIA go as follows:

  • CITIZENS INC's earnings per share declined by 50.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, CITIZENS INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.13 versus $0.11 in the prior year.
  • 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 Insurance industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 64.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.20 million to $0.43 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, CITIZENS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CITIZENS INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 2.14%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 0.76% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $17.01 million or 17.05% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow CITIZENS INC is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -52.09%.

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

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Donegal Group ( DGICA) was another company that pushed the Insurance industry lower today. Donegal Group was down $0.23 (1.6%) to $14.20 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 59,783 shares of Donegal Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 32,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $14.07-$14.47 after having opened the day at $14.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.43.

Donegal Group Inc., an insurance holding company, provides property and casualty insurance to businesses and individuals in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern, New England, and southern states. Donegal Group has a market cap of $316.3 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 9.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Donegal Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Donegal Group 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, compelling growth in net income, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on DGICA go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 14.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • DGICA's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.12 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • 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 233.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.94 million to $6.47 million.
  • DONEGAL GROUP INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, DONEGAL GROUP INC reported lower earnings of $0.53 versus $0.99 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.15 versus $0.53).
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, DONEGAL GROUP INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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

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