Equity Residential (EQR): Today's Featured Financial 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.

Equity Residential ( EQR) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Equity Residential rose $1.09 (1.9%) to $57.48 on light volume. Throughout the day, 949,573 shares of Equity Residential exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $56.30-$57.52 after having opened the day at $56.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.39. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Jacksonville Bancorp Inc (FL ( JAXB), up 22.2%, SP Bancorp ( SPBC), up 10.6%, Vestin Realty Mortgage II ( VRTB), up 10%, and ZipRealty ( ZIPR), up 8.5%.
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Equity Residential, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, development, and management of multifamily properties in the United States. Equity Residential has a market cap of $16.97 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 152.4, below the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 165.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Equity Residential a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Equity Residential as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Doral Financial ( DRL), down 11.4%, Reinsurance Group of America ( RGA), down 10.8%, First Financial Service Corporation ( FFKY), down 8%, and Greenhill ( GHL), down 8%, were all laggards within the financial sector with UBS ( UBS) being today's financial sector laggard.

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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