5 Stocks Pushing The Financial Sector Higher

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

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 24 points (0.2%) at 14,421 as of Monday, March 11, 2013, 12:45 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,375 issues advancing vs. 1,531 declining with 142 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Genworth Financial ( GNW), up 6.2%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ( MTU), up 5.0%, Nomura Holdings ( NMR), up 3.6%, Wells Fargo ( WFC), up 1.1% and MetLife ( MET), up 0.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The ( RBS), down 1.6%, Brookfield Asset Management ( BAM), down 1.7% and Shinhan Financial Group ( SHG), down 1.3%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Aflac ( AFL) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Aflac is up $0.56 (1.1%) to $50.70 on average volume Thus far, 1.9 million shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.99-$50.78 after having opened the day at $50.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.14.

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance. Aflac has a market cap of $24.1 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Aflac Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Prudential Financial ( PRU) is up $0.52 (0.9%) to $60.12 on average volume Thus far, 2.2 million shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $59.30-$60.22 after having opened the day at $59.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.60.

Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, and investment management services in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential Financial has a market cap of $27.0 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 64.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Prudential Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Prudential Financial Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Capital One Financial ( COF) is up $0.46 (0.8%) to $54.66 on light volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Capital One Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.84-$54.68 after having opened the day at $54.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.20.

Capital One Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for the Capital One Bank (USA), National Association (COBNA), and Capital One, National Association (CONA), which provide various financial products and services in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Capital One Financial has a market cap of $31.7 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Capital One Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Capital One Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Capital One Financial Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, U.S. Bancorp ( USB) is up $0.27 (0.8%) to $34.50 on average volume Thus far, 3.9 million shares of U.S. Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.20-$34.60 after having opened the day at $34.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.23.

U.S. Bancorp, a financial services holding company, provides a range of financial services in the United States. Its services include lending and depository services, cash management, capital market, and trust and investment management services. U.S. Bancorp has a market cap of $63.6 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate U.S. Bancorp a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 16 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates U.S. Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full U.S. Bancorp Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Citigroup ( C) is up $0.38 (0.8%) to $47.06 on average volume Thus far, 20.4 million shares of Citigroup exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 33.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.40-$47.12 after having opened the day at $46.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.68.

Citigroup, Inc., a diversified financial services holding company, provides a range of financial products and services to consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. Citigroup has a market cap of $136.7 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 18.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate Citigroup a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Citigroup as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Citigroup Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: 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.
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