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 was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Equity Residential rose $1.13 (2.1%) to $55.56 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.9 million shares of Equity Residential exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $54.43-$55.56 after having opened the day at $54.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.43. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Epoch Holding Corporation ( EPHC), up 26.4%, Porter Bancorp ( PBIB), up 17.2%, Community West ( CWBC), up 16.9%, and Jacksonville Bancorp Inc (FL ( JAXB), up 10%.
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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 $16.64 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 82.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Equity Residential a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 10 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 robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, Paulson Capital ( PLCC), down 16.5%, Village Bank and Trust Financial Corporatio ( VBFC), down 14.1%, Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), down 12.3%, and Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM.A), down 10.9%, were all laggards within the financial sector with New York Community Bancorp ( NYCB) 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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