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Legg Mason Inc. (LM): Today's Featured Financial Services Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Legg Mason ( LM) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Legg Mason fell $0.39 (-1.1%) to $34.00 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,563,735 shares of Legg Mason exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,560,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $33.86-$34.57 after having opened the day at $34.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.39. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Paulson Capital ( PLCC), down 7.3%, NewStar Financial ( NEWS), down 5.2%, Global X Silver Miners ETF ( SIL), down 5.2% and Cash Store Financial Services ( CSFS), down 5.0%.

Legg Mason Inc. is a holding company that, through its subsidiaries, is principally engaged in providing asset management, securities brokerage, investment banking and related financial services to individuals, institutions, corporations and municipalities. Legg Mason has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 35.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Legg Mason a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Legg Mason as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM.A), up 11.8%, SP Bancorp ( SPBC), up 3.8%, Cash America International ( CSH), up 3.7% and CIFC ( CIFC), up 3.5%.

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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