Newcastle Investment Corporation (NCT): Today's Featured Financial Winner

Newcastle Investment Corporation ( NCT) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.1%. By the end of trading, Newcastle Investment Corporation rose 5 cents (0.7%) to $7.14 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.2 million shares of Newcastle Investment Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $6.96-$7.27 after having opened the day at $7.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.09. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Citizens South Banking Corporation ( CSBC), up 24.4%, First Capital Bancorp ( FCVA), up 15.4%, Summit Financial Group ( SMMF), up 9.8%, and Stratus Properties ( STRS), up 9.7%.

Operates as a REIT investing in credit-sensitive real estate securities, including commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities and unsecured REIT debt, mostly rated BBB or BB, which it seeks to match with liabilities with respect to interest rates and maturities. Newcastle Investment Corporation has a market cap of $878.5 million and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 3.5, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 2.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 52.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Newcastle Investment Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Newcastle Investment Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally poor debt management.

On the negative front, Income Opportunity Realty Investors ( IOT), down 12.1%, Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania ( RBPAA), down 11.5%, E-House China Holdings ( EJ), down 11.4%, and Magyar Bancorp ( MGYR), down 9.4%, were all losers within the financial sector with Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B) 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).