SunTrust Banks Inc (STI): 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.

SunTrust Banks ( STI) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, SunTrust Banks rose 30 cents (1%) to $29.40 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7.3 million shares of SunTrust Banks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $29.02-$29.60 after having opened the day at $29.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.10. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), up 37.3%, HMN Financial ( HMNF), up 29%, Plumas Bancorp ( PLBC), up 25.6%, and Jacksonville Bancorp Inc (FL ( JAXB), up 25.4%.
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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 $15.7 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate SunTrust Banks a buy, four analysts rate it a sell, and 11 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), down 12.9%, Porter Bancorp ( PBIB), down 12.4%, Flagstar Bancorp ( FBC), down 12.2%, and Impac Mortgage Holdings ( IMH), down 11%, were all laggards within the financial sector with Ocwen Financial Corporation ( OCN) 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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