Legg Mason Inc. (LM): 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

Legg Mason ( LM) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Legg Mason rose $0.42 (1.2%) to $35.28 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,297,472 shares of Legg Mason exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,576,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $34.76-$35.55 after having opened the day at $34.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.86. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), up 18.4%, National Bank of Greece ( NBG), up 18.3%, Roberts Realty Investors ( RPI), up 15.4% and Vestin Realty Mortgage II ( VRTB), up 15.0%.
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protege, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Legg Mason, Inc. provides asset management and related financial services to institutional and individual clients, company-sponsored mutual funds, and other pooled investment vehicles worldwide. Legg Mason has a market cap of $4.5 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 35.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Legg Mason a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Legg Mason as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the negative front, Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), down 22.9%, Transcontinental Realty Investors ( TCI), down 11.9%, Jacksonville Bancorp ( JAXB), down 8.0% and Bank of South Carolina Corporation ( BKSC), down 6.7% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Deutsche Bank ( DB) 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).

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.