Public Storage (PSA): Today's Featured Financial Laggard

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.

Public Storage ( PSA) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Public Storage fell $2.81 (-1.9%) to $142.58 on average volume. Throughout the day, 909,905 shares of Public Storage exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 696,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $141.76-$144.49 after having opened the day at $143.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $145.39. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), down 33.2%, Penson Worldwide ( PNSN), down 18.1%, Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), down 16%, and Impac Mortgage Holdings ( IMH), down 13.1%.

Public Storage operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). It engages in the acquisition, development, ownership, and operation of self-storage facilities in the United States and Europe. Public Storage has a market cap of $24.89 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 46.2, equal to the average real estate industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Public Storage a buy, four analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Public Storage as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, Western Liberty Bancorp ( WLBC), up 34.1%, IFM Investments ( CTC), up 15.1%, Thomas Properties Group ( TPGI), up 10.7%, and Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), up 7.1%, were all gainers within the financial sector with Citigroup ( C) being today's featured financial sector leader.

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).