Blackstone Group LP (BX): Today's Featured Financial Services 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.

Blackstone Group ( BX) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Blackstone Group fell 79 cents (-4.3%) to $17.44 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6.5 million shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $17.06-$18.41 after having opened the day at $18.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.23. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Pzena Investment Management ( PZN), down 5.5%, Palmetto ( PLMT), down 5.1%, Nicholas Financial ( NICK), down 4.3%, and First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), down 4.1%.
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The Blackstone Group L.P., together with its subsidiaries, provides alternative asset management and financial advisory services worldwide. It operates in five segments: Private Equity, Real Estate, Hedge Fund Solutions, Credit Businesses, and Financial Advisory. Blackstone Group has a market cap of $9.47 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 106.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Blackstone Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Blackstone Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Evercore Partners ( EVR), up 5.1%, Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), up 4.3%, BGC Partners ( BGCP), up 3.8%, and Westwood Holdings Group ( WHG), up 3.7%, were all gainers within the financial services industry with Capital One Financial ( COF) being today's featured financial services industry leader.

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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