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

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 0.1%. By the end of trading, Equifax fell 70 cents (-1.5%) to $46.16 on light volume. Throughout the day, 605,542 shares of Equifax exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 838,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $46.16-$46.99 after having opened the day at $46.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.86. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: China Ceramics ( CCCL), down 22.1%, Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 18.5%, SGOCO Group ( SGOC), down 12.1%, and Ampal-American Israel Corporation ( AMPL), down 10%.
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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 $5.57 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.9, 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 20% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Equifax a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six 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 no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the positive front, Direct Markets Holdings ( MKTS), up 10.8%, Heckmann ( HEK), up 9%, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group ( OZM), up 5.4%, and GFI Group ( GFIG), up 4.3%, 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).

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