LPL Investment Holdings Inc. (LPLA): Today's Featured Financial Services Winner

LPL Investment Holdings ( LPLA) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, LPL Investment Holdings rose 86 cents (2.6%) to $34.51 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.1 million shares of LPL Investment Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 482,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $33.81-$34.51 after having opened the day at $33.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.65. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: FirstCity Financial Corporation ( FCFC), up 17.7%, Orix Corporation ( IX), up 7.3%, CompuCredit Corporation ( CCRT), up 6.8%, and Encore Capital Group ( ECPG), up 5.9%.

LPL Investment Holdings Inc. provides an integrated platform of brokerage and investment advisory services to independent financial advisors and financial advisors at financial institutions in the United States. LPL Investment Holdings has a market cap of $3.75 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.6, equal to the average financial services industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are two analysts that rate LPL Investment Holdings a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LPL Investment Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

On the negative front, GAIN Capital Holdings ( GCAP), down 12.6%, Paulson Capital ( PLCC), down 10.4%, Marine Petroleum ( MARPS), down 7.2%, and Stifel Financial ( SF), down 5.3%, were all losers within the financial services industry with Invesco ( IVZ) being today's financial services industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial services industry could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial services industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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