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 $0.42 (1.3%) to $32.30 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,117,278 shares of SunTrust Banks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,949,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $31.77-$32.48 after having opened the day at $31.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.88. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), up 15.4%, Vestin Realty Mortgage II ( VRTB), up 12.9%, Capital ( CT), up 12.3% and Blackstone Mortgate ( BXMT), up 12.3%.
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SunTrust Banks, Inc. operates as the holding company for SunTrust Bank that provides various financial services in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management, Wholesale Banking, and Mortgage Banking. SunTrust Banks has a market cap of $16.9 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate SunTrust Banks a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 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 solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, National Bank of Greece ( NBG), down 33.9%, American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), down 11.5%, Credit Suisse ( DSLV), down 11.2% and Credit Suisse ( UOIL), down 8.0% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Annaly Capital Management ( NLY) 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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