Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. (WDR): Today's Featured Financial Services Winner

Waddell & Reed Financial ( WDR) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1%. By the end of trading, Waddell & Reed Financial rose 18 cents (0.6%) to $29.16 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, two million shares of Waddell & Reed Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 989,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $28.57-$29.44 after having opened the day at $29.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.98. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Paulson Capital ( PLCC), up 13.5%, Penson Worldwide ( PNSN), up 12.1%, Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM.A), up 7.2%, and Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group ( RODM), up 6.5%.

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides investment management, investment product underwriting and distribution, and shareholder services administration to mutual funds, and institutional and separately managed accounts in the United States. Waddell & Reed Financial has a market cap of $2.47 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.8, equal to the average financial services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Waddell & Reed Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Waddell & Reed Financial 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, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, MicroFinancial ( MFI), down 13.3%, Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), down 11.4%, CIFC ( DFR), down 9.6%, and First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), down 6.1%, were all losers within the financial services industry with BlackRock ( BLK) 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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