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





) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Aflac rose 59 cents (1.2%) to $50.03 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.6 million shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $49.41-$50.18 after having opened the day at $49.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.44. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were:

Paulson Capital



), up 33.7%,

Millennium India Acquisition Corporation



), up 20%,

Farmers Capital Bank Corporation



), up 16.3%, and

Pacific Mercantile Bancorp



), up 10.1%.

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Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance. Aflac has a market cap of $23.25 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.1, above the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 9.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front,

First Financial Service Corporation



), down 14.2%,

OptimumBank Holdings



), down 12.8%,




), down 11.2%, and

Dupont Fabros Technology



), down 9.2%, were all laggards within the financial sector with

SL Green Realty Corporation



) 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



) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider

Proshares Short Financials




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