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 0.2%. By the end of trading, Legg Mason rose 27 cents (1.1%) to $25 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.3 million shares of Legg Mason exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $24.60-$25.24 after having opened the day at $24.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.73. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: PHH Corporation ( PHH), up 6.4%, Ladenburg Thalman Financial Services ( LTS), up 5.8%, Ampal-American Israel Corporation ( AMPL), up 4.6%, and Value Line ( VALU), up 4.2%.
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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 $3.27 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

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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