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Insurtech firm's 73% gain in November was highest among US financial stocks

Cambridge, Mass.-based EverQuote Inc., an online marketplace for insurance plans, led U.S. financial stocks in November, returning 73.4% in the month compared to the industry’s median total return of 2.8%. For the year, EverQuote's stock is up 742.3%.

Two of the other top-performing stocks in November were merger targets. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. had the second-strongest performance, with a 54.4% return. On Nov. 11, Advisor Group Inc. agreed to acquire the investment broker for $1.3 billion.

The fourth-highest return of the month came from TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., which gained 36.1%. On Nov. 25, Charles Schwab Corp. announced that it would acquire TD Ameritrade in an all-stock transaction for approximately $26 billion.

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In contrast, Florida-based Health Insurance Innovations Inc.'s shares plunged 32.1% in November, making it the worst-performing stock among all financial institutions in the analysis, which is limited to major exchange-traded U.S. financial stocks with a market cap of at least $100 million and an average daily volume of more than 20,000 shares.

The insurance broker's shares fell 23.50% during the week ended Nov. 22, as investor concerns over the company's alleged involvement in a fraud scheme resurfaced. In June, a class-action complaint was filed against Health Insurance Innovations and subsidiary Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings LLC, alleging that they had a role in a fraudulent insurance scheme conducted by one of their brokers. The broker, Florida-based Simple Health Plans, was found to have carried out a $150 million fraud scheme and was shut down in late 2018 by the Federal Trade Commission.

Irvine, Calif.-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. had the second-worst performance in November, losing 27.7%, followed by San Diego-based Mitek Systems Inc.'s 26.0% decline.

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