IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE): 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.

IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, IntercontinentalExchange rose $3.24 (2.4%) to $140.09 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, one million shares of IntercontinentalExchange exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 443,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $136.55-$140.59 after having opened the day at $138.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $136.85. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Penson Worldwide ( PNSN), up 11.3%, GFI Group ( GFIG), up 7.7%, W.P. Carey ( WPC), up 6.3%, and Global Cash Access Holdings ( GCA), up 5.5%.
  • ACTIVE STOCK TRADERS: Get full access to Jim Cramer's thoughts for less than $3/week - sometimes before he says them on TV! Start with a 14-Day Free Trial.

IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. operates regulated exchanges, clearing houses, and over-the-counter (OTC) markets for agricultural, credit, currency, emissions, energy, and equity index contracts. IntercontinentalExchange has a market cap of $9.89 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.7, below the average financial services industry P/E ratio of 18.1 and equal to the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate IntercontinentalExchange a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates IntercontinentalExchange as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the negative front, Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), down 6.2%, SGOCO Group ( SGOC), down 4.1%, NewStar Financial ( NEWS), down 4%, and Full Circle Capital Corp BDC ( FULL), down 3.1%, were all laggards within the financial services industry with TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation ( AMTD) being today's financial services industry laggard.

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).

FREE from Real Money's Jim Cramer: Winners and Losers Election 2012 - Steps to take NOW so you can profit no matter who is in charge! Free download now.