BB&T

(

BBT

) pushed the Banking industry higher today making it today's featured banking winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, BB&T rose 17 cents (0.6%) to $30.43 on light volume. Throughout the day, three million shares of BB&T exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $30.20-$30.69 after having opened the day at $30.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.26. Other companies within the Banking industry that increased today were:

Atlantic Coast Financial

(

ACFC

), up 17.8%,

BCSB Bankcorp

(

BCSB

), up 16.3%,

Colony Bankcorp

(

CBAN

), up 14.7%, and

Monarch Community Bancorp

(

MCBF

), up 12.7%.

BB&T Corporation operates as a financial holding company for Branch Banking and Trust Company that provides various banking and trust services for retail and commercial clients. BB&T has a market cap of $21.06 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.2, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate BB&T a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 19 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BB&T as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front,

First Bancshares Inc /MO

(

FBSI

), down 7.1%,

First Financial Service Corporation

(

FFKY

), down 7.1%,

Severn Bancorp

(

SVBI

), down 6.9%, and

Macatawa Bank Corporation

(

MCBC

), down 6.9%, were all losers within the banking industry with

JPMorgan Chase

(

JPM

) being today's banking industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the banking industry could consider

KBW Bank ETF

(

KBE

) while those bearish on the banking industry could consider

ProShares Short KBW Regional Bankng

(

KRS

).

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