CME Group Inc. (CME): Today's Featured Financial Services Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

CME Group ( CME) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, CME Group rose 63 cents (1.2%) to $54.11 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.2 million shares of CME Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $52.97-$54.15 after having opened the day at $53.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.48. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Consumer Portfolio Services ( CPSS), up 8.9%, Manhattan Bridge Capital ( LOAN), up 8.7%, Ampal-American Israel Corporation ( AMPL), up 8.5%, and Paulson Capital ( PLCC), up 8.1%.

CME Group Inc. operates the CME, CBOT, NYMEX and COMEX futures exchanges worldwide. The company provides a range of products across various asset classes, such as interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, weather, and real estate. CME Group has a market cap of $17.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.1, 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 8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate CME Group a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CME Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

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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