Equifax Inc. (EFX): Today's Featured Financial Services Laggard

Equifax ( EFX) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Equifax fell 69 cents (-1.5%) to $45.72 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.5 million shares of Equifax exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 976,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $45.65-$46.95 after having opened the day at $46.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.41. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), down 13.5%, FXCM ( FXCM), down 5%, Chanticleer Holdings ( HOTR), down 4%, and Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM.A), down 4%.

Equifax Inc. collects, organizes, and manages various financial, demographic, employment, and marketing information solutions for businesses and consumers. The company's U.S. Equifax has a market cap of $5.61 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20, 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 19.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Equifax a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Equifax 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), up 11.7%, PHH Corporation ( PHH), up 8.5%, E*Trade Financial ( ETFC), up 6.9%, and Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), up 6.4%, were all gainers within the financial services industry with Goldman Sachs Group ( GS) being today's featured financial services industry leader.

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).