People's United Financial ( PBCT) pushed the Banking industry higher today making it today's featured banking winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.4%. By the end of trading, People's United Financial rose 9 cents (0.7%) to $12.59 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.4 million shares of People's United Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $12.30-$12.60 after having opened the day at $12.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.50. Other companies within the Banking industry that increased today were: Horizon Bancorp Industries ( HBNC), up 34.5%, Broadway Financial ( BYFC), up 18.7%, Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania ( RBPAA), up 17.5%, and Northern States Financial ( NSFC), up 12.3%.

People's United Financial, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for People's United Bank that provides commercial banking, retail and business banking, and wealth management services to individual, corporate, and municipal customers. People's United Financial has a market cap of $4.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.6, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 10.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are five analysts that rate People's United Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates People's United Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Home Federal Bancorp Inc of louisiana ( HFBL), down 19.7%, WSB Holdings ( WSB), down 15.3%, Plumas Bancorp ( PLBC), down 14.3%, and Jefferson ( JFBI), down 14%, were all losers within the banking industry with PNC Financial Services Group ( PNC) 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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