Exchange traded funds tracking insurance providers are often
overshadowed by more popular financial services fare, namely
that are home to major bank stocks.
That scenario could change this week as a plethora of big-name
insurance firms step into the earnings confessional, perhaps
shifting investors' attention to select insurance ETFs in the
Health insurance provider Humana (NYSE:
) reported earlier today, but that is just the beginning of what
is shaping up to be a brisk week of earnings reports from a
variety of insurance providers.
Humana is a top-10 holding in the iShares Dow Jones U.S.
Healthcare Providers Index Fund (NYSE:
), a $242.1 million ETF that prior to Monday, was 5.8 percent
Over the course of the week, other IHF constituents such as
) and Coventry Health Care (NYSE:
) report as well. Add those two with Humana and by the time this
week is over, 13.5 percent of IHF's weight will have delivered
What will prove pivotal to the ETF's near-term fortunes is the
guidance, if any, given by these companies.
see double-digit EPS growth for the health
insurance sub-sector this year
. If IHF constituents can comfort investors that that growth is
realistic, the ETF could be a viable buy-on-the-dip
The thinly-traded (average daily volume of less than 800
shares) PowerShares KBW Property & Casualty Insurance
) will be another insurance ETF worth checking in with as the
week moves along. AXIS Capital Holdings (NYSE:
), which represents 4.16 percent of the ETF's weight, reported
) and PartnerRe (NYSE:
), which combine for 12.6 of KBWP's weight, report on
Other KBWP holdings scheduled to report later this include
Endurance Specialty Holdings (NYSE:
), Platinum Underwriters (NYSE:
), Kemper (NYSE:
) and Montpelier Re (NYSE:
). That quarter combines for over 13 percent of KBWP's
With $173.63 million in assets under management, the SPDR
S&P Insurance ETF (NYSE:
) is one of the largest non-health insurance ETFs.
Home to 46 stocks, the ETF has jumped almost seven percent in
the past month and is now found bumping up against some stiff
resistance at $48.
No single holding receives an allocation of more than 2.76 in
KIE, but plenty of the fund's marquee names report throughout
February. Hartford Financial (NYSE:
) reports after the bell today, Prudential (NYSE:
) follows on Wednesday as does Allstate.
), KIE's largest holding, reports on Tuesday.
Bottom line: With over 10 percent of KIE's weight delivering
earnings reports over the next three days and some of the ETF's
most recognizable names reporting later this month, investors
should know soon whether the fund has the chops to break
resistance at $48 and start a new up leg.
For more on ETFs, click
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