SunTrust Banks Inc (STI): 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.

SunTrust Banks ( STI) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.7%. By the end of trading, SunTrust Banks fell $1.02 (-3.4%) to $29.17 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 10.1 million shares of SunTrust Banks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of six million shares. The stock ranged in price between $28.49-$29.49 after having opened the day at $29.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.19. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 35.7%, Bank of South Carolina Corporation ( BKSC), down 8.3%, Emclaire Financial Corporation ( EMCF), down 7.1%, and Xenith Bankshares ( XBKS), down 6.9%.
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SunTrust Banks, Inc. operates as the holding company for SunTrust Bank, which provides various financial services in the United States. SunTrust Banks has a market cap of $15.97 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.9, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 70.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate SunTrust Banks a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates SunTrust Banks as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

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).

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