Prudential Financial Inc (PRU): Today's Featured Insurance Loser

Tickers in this article: PRU

Prudential Financial (PRU) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance loser. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Prudential Financial fell 70 cents (-1.3%) to $52.19 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, seven million shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $52.03-$53.27 after having opened the day at $52.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.89. Other company's within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Investors Title Company (ITIC), down 3.8%, Life Partners Holdings (LPHI), down 3.5%, Stewart Information Services (STC), down 3.3%, and Phoenix Companies (PNX), down 3.2%.

Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, and investment management services in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential Financial has a market cap of $25.75 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.7, above the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 7.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Prudential Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, impressive record of earnings per share growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, United Fire Group (UFCS), up 13.4%, Crawford & Company (CRD.B), up 7%, Homeowners Choice (HCII), up 4.7%, and ING Groep N.V (ING), up 4.4%, were all gainers within the insurance industry with Progressive Corporation (PGR) being today's featured insurance industry winner.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the insurance industry could consider KBW Insurance ETF (KIE) while those bearish on the insurance industry could consider Proshares Short Financials (SEF).

Tickers in this article: PRU