Legg Mason ( LM) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services loser. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Legg Mason fell 17 cents (-0.7%) to $24.95 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.3 million shares of Legg Mason exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $24.78-$25.23 after having opened the day at $25.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.12. Other company's within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group ( RODM), down 10.9%, Direct Markets Holdings ( MKTS), down 10.9%, Ampal-American Israel Corporation ( AMPL), down 7.3%, and MarketAxess Holdings ( MKTX), down 5.3%. Legg Mason, Inc. provides asset management and related financial services to institutional and individual clients, company-sponsored mutual funds, and other pooled investment vehicles worldwide. Legg Mason has a market cap of $3.78 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.5, 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 2.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Legg Mason a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and seven rate it a hold. TheStreet Ratings rates Legg Mason as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.
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