Legg Mason Inc. (LM): 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.

Legg Mason ( LM) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Legg Mason rose 54 cents (2.2%) to $24.65 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.1 million shares of Legg Mason exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $23.88-$24.74 after having opened the day at $24.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.11. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Consumer Portfolio Services ( CPSS), up 6%, Pzena Investment Management ( PZN), up 3.9%, Noah Holdings ( NOAH), up 3.8%, and SGOCO Group ( SGOC), up 3.5%.
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Legg Mason, Inc. provides asset management and related financial services to institutional and individual clients, company-sponsored mutual funds, and other pooled investment vehicles worldwide. Legg Mason has a market cap of $3.28 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.7, below the average financial services industry P/E ratio of 22.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Legg Mason a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Legg Mason as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its very decent return on equity which we feel should persist. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income.

On the negative front, Ampal-American Israel Corporation ( AMPL), down 9.8%, Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), down 9.3%, Manhattan Bridge Capital ( LOAN), down 4.7%, and WisdomTree Global Real Return Fund ( RRF), down 3.4%, were all laggards within the financial services industry with NYSE Euronext ( NYX) 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).

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