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

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 0.8%. By the end of trading, Equity Residential fell $0.58 (-1.0%) to $57.48 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,318,512 shares of Equity Residential exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,337,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $57.39-$58.70 after having opened the day at $58.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.06. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: Howard Bancorp Inc Md ( HBMD), down 7.9%, IFM Investments ( CTC), down 7.3%, Citizens Holding Company ( CIZN), down 5.9% and United Community Financial Corporation ( UCFC), down 5.8%.

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 $21.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 102.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Equity Residential a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Equity Residential as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM.A), up 18.0%, Roberts Realty Investors ( RPI), up 17.6%, Altis Resident ( RESI), up 12.5% and AmeriServ Financial ( ASRV), up 9.5% , were all gainers within the financial sector with Discover Financial Services ( DFS) 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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