Citigroup Inc (C): Today's Featured Financial Winner

Citigroup ( C) 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, Citigroup rose $0.67 (1.3%) to $50.71 on average volume. Throughout the day, 25,564,493 shares of Citigroup exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30,464,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $49.93-$50.84 after having opened the day at $50.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.04. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Altis Resident ( RESI), up 16.4%, Republic Bancorp ( RBCAA), up 14.2%, Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), up 12.0% and QIWI PLC ADR ( QIWI), up 10.7%.

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 $151.0 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 25.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate Citigroup a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 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, good cash flow from operations, 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.

On the negative front, Owens Realty Mortgage ( ORM), down 10.4%, Bank Bradesco ( BBDO), down 9.1%, Unico American Corporation ( UNAM), down 7.4% and NB&T Financial Group ( NBTF), down 7.1% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Digital Realty ( DLR) 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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