MetLife Inc (MET): Today's Featured Financial Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

MetLife ( MET) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, MetLife fell $0.87 (-1.7%) to $51.34 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,187,977 shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,173,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $51.06-$52.10 after having opened the day at $52.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.21. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), down 11.6%, Medallion Financial ( TAXI), down 8.8%, China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), down 8.2% and HCI Group ( HCI), down 7.8%.

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. MetLife has a market cap of $58.5 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 58.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Cash Store Financial Services ( CSFS), up 14.0%, Imperial Holdings ( IFT), up 9.2%, Roma Financial Corporation ( ROMA), up 7.6% and Credit Suisse ( UWTI), up 6.9% , were all gainers within the financial sector with UDR ( UDR) 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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