Public Storage

(

PSA

) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Public Storage rose 80 cents (0.6%) to $132.91 on light volume. Throughout the day, 543,682 shares of Public Storage exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 815,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $129.90-$133.37 after having opened the day at $131.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $132.11. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were:

First Bancshares Inc /MO

(

FBSI

), up 20.8%,

First Acceptance Corporation

(

FAC

), up 16.3%,

Doral Financial

(

DRL

), up 14.6%, and

BancTrust Financial Group

(

BTFG

), up 14%.

Public Storage operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). It engages in the acquisition, development, ownership, and operation of self-storage facilities in the United States and Europe. Public Storage has a market cap of $22.67 billion and is part of the

real estate

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 42.1, equal to the average real estate industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Public Storage a buy, four analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Public Storage as a

buy

. 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front,

BCSB Bankcorp

(

BCSB

), down 13.4%,

Yadkin Valley Financial Corporation

(

YAVY

), down 12.4%,

Crescent Financial

(

CRFN

), down 12.1%, and

OptimumBank Holdings

(

OPHC

), down 11.9%, were all losers within the financial sector with

Credit Suisse Group

(

CS

) being today's financial sector loser.

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

(

XLF

) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider

Proshares Short Financials

(

SEF

).

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