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IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE): Today's Featured Financial Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, IntercontinentalExchange rose $2.19 (1.6%) to $138.90 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2.3 million shares of IntercontinentalExchange exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $136.89-$139.72 after having opened the day at $136.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $136.71. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Altisource Residential Corporation ( RESI), up 24.8%, Community West ( CWBC), up 22.3%, Summit Financial Group ( SMMF), up 13.8%, and First Clover Leaf Financial Corporation ( FCLF), up 13.7%.

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IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. operates regulated exchanges, clearing houses, and over-the-counter (OTC) markets for agricultural, credit, currency, emissions, energy, and equity index contracts. IntercontinentalExchange has a market cap of $9.83 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.6, equal to the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate IntercontinentalExchange a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

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

On the negative front, Village Bank and Trust Financial Corporatio ( VBFC), down 13.7%, OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), down 10%, Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico SAB de CV ( BSMX), down 6.8%, and Credit Suisse ( DSLV), down 6.5%, were all laggards within the financial sector with Prudential Financial ( PRU) being today's financial sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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