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

Equity Residential ( EQR) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Equity Residential fell $1.68 (-2.9%) to $55.39 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.8 million shares of Equity Residential exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of two million shares. The stock ranged in price between $55.34-$57.06 after having opened the day at $57.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.07. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), down 11.1%, Plumas Bancorp ( PLBC), down 8.8%, Old Second Bancorp ( OSBC), down 7.2%, and Elbit Imaging ( EMITF), down 6.4%.
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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 $17.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 86.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Equity Residential a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and nine 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. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Altisource Residential Corporation ( RESI), up 20%, Broadway Financial ( BYFC), up 12%, MBT Financial Corporation ( MBTF), up 10.6%, and United ( UBOH), up 8.6%, were all gainers within the financial sector with Aflac ( AFL) being today's featured financial sector leader.

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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