Blackstone Group LP (BX): 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

Blackstone Group ( BX) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Blackstone Group rose $0.30 (1.4%) to $21.97 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,706,808 shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,220,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.58-$22.12 after having opened the day at $21.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.67. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Cordia Bancorp ( BVA), up 12.9%, Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), up 12.3%, Donegal Group ( DGICB), up 10.9% and State Investors Bancorp ( SIBC), up 10.4%.
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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 $11.7 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 35.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 34.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Blackstone Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 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 robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), down 9.4%, National Bank of Greece ( NBG), down 8.6%, Prudential Bancorp Inc. of Pennsylvania ( PBIP), down 7.2% and Asset Acceptance Capital Corporation ( AACC), down 6.9% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Prologis ( PLD) 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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