AvalonBay Communities Inc (AVB): Today's Featured Financial Winner

AvalonBay Communities ( AVB) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, AvalonBay Communities rose $3.08 (2.1%) to $146.30 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.1 million shares of AvalonBay Communities exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 639,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $142.14-$147 after having opened the day at $142.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $143.22. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: American Independence Corporation ( AMIC), up 13.4%, Fidelity Bancorp ( FSBI), up 13.4%, WVS Financial ( WVFC), up 9.6%, and MSB Financial Corporation ( MSBF), up 9.5%.

AvalonBay Communities, Inc. engages in the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership, and operation of multifamily communities in the United States. AvalonBay Communities has a market cap of $13.61 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 69, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 27.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate AvalonBay Communities a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AvalonBay Communities as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, Severn Bancorp ( SVBI), down 23.3%, Carver Bancorp ( CARV), down 17.5%, Central Federal ( CFBK), down 17%, and Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), down 10.4%, were all losers within the financial sector with Citigroup ( C) 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).