Wells Fargo

(

WFC

) pushed the Banking industry higher today making it today's featured banking winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Wells Fargo rose 39 cents (1.2%) to $32.25 on light volume. Throughout the day, 19.4 million shares of Wells Fargo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 29.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $31.96-$32.26 after having opened the day at $32.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.86. Other companies within the Banking industry that increased today were:

BancTrust Financial Group

(

BTFG

), up 56.8%,

Crescent Financial

(

CRFN

), up 14.7%,

Mid Penn Bancorp

(

MPB

), up 13.7%, and

Credit Suisse

(

DGAZ

), up 13.2%.

Wells Fargo & Company, through its subsidiaries, provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services primarily in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Community Banking; Wholesale Banking; and Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement. Wells Fargo has a market cap of $169.3 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate Wells Fargo a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wells Fargo as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front,

Hampton Roads Bankshares

(

HMPR

), down 49.9%,

Princeton National Bancorp

(

PNBC

), down 10.1%,

Ameriana Bancorp

(

ASBI

), down 8.4%, and

Ohio Legacy Corporation

(

OLCB

), down 8.2%, were all losers within the banking industry with

Popular

(

BPOP

) 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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