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


Progressive Corporation



) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Progressive Corporation rose 27 cents (1.3%) to $21.27 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 11 million shares of Progressive Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $20.96-$21.27 after having opened the day at $21.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were:

Income Opportunity Realty Investors



), up 44.4%,

Atlantic Coast Financial



), up 15%,

Anchor Bancorp



), up 14.9%, and

Consumer Portfolio Services



), up 14.3%.

  • ACTIVE STOCK TRADERS: Get full access to Jim Cramer's thoughts for less than $3/week - sometimes before he says them on TV! Start with a 14-Day Free Trial.

The Progressive Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides personal and commercial automobile insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance products and related services primarily in the United States. Progressive Corporation has a market cap of $12.77 billion and is part of the


industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.4, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 16.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Progressive Corporation a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Progressive Corporation as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the negative front,

Ohio Legacy Corporation



), down 17.5%,

Siebert Financial Corporation



), down 11.8%,

Penson Worldwide



), down 11.7%, and

Pzena Investment Management



), down 11.6%, were all laggards within the financial sector with




) 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




FREE from Real Money's Jim Cramer: Winners and Losers Election 2012 - Steps to take NOW so you can profit no matter who is in charge!

Free download now