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Blackstone Group LP (BX): Today's Featured Financial Services Straggler

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.

Blackstone Group ( BX) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Blackstone Group fell 27 cents (-1.4%) to $19.78 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3.8 million shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $19.50-$20.19 after having opened the day at $20.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.05. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Pzena Investment Management ( PZN), down 6.3%, Paulson Capital ( PLCC), down 6.1%, ProShares UltraShort DJ-UBS Commodity ( CMD), down 4.8%, and Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM), down 3.8%.

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The Blackstone Group L.P., together with its subsidiaries, provides alternative asset management and financial advisory services worldwide. It operates in five segments: Private Equity, Real Estate, Hedge Fund Solutions, Credit Businesses, and Financial Advisory. Blackstone Group has a market cap of $11.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 48.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 28.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Blackstone Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Blackstone Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Palmetto ( PLMT), up 9.8%, WisdomTree Global Real Return Fund ( RRF), up 6.7%, PowerShares DB Agriculture Double Short ETN ( AGA), up 6.4%, and Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), up 6.4%, were all gainers within the financial services industry with IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE) being today's featured financial services industry leader.

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

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