First Niagara Financial Group Inc (FNFG): Today's Featured Banking 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.

First Niagara Financial Group ( FNFG) pushed the Banking industry lower today making it today's featured Banking laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, First Niagara Financial Group fell $0.57 (-5.3%) to $10.22 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 15,708,252 shares of First Niagara Financial Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,148,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $10.20-$10.72 after having opened the day at $10.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.79. Other companies within the Banking industry that declined today were: Credit Suisse ( DGAZ), down 12.5%, VelocityShares 3x Long Silver ETN linked to ( USLV), down 9.8%, VelocityShares 3x Long Gold ETN linked to t ( UGLD), down 7.3% and First Bank Williamstown NJ ( FRBA), down 6.2%.

First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for First Niagara Bank, N.A. that provides retail and commercial banking, and other financial services to individuals, families, and businesses. First Niagara Financial Group has a market cap of $3.8 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 34.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate First Niagara Financial Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates First Niagara Financial Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and attractive valuation levels. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), up 13.1%, Credit Suisse ( UGAZ), up 11.4%, BCB Bancorp ( BCBP), up 11.3% and VelocityShares 3x Inverse Silver ETN S&P GS ( DSLV), up 9.1% , were all gainers within the banking industry with Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB) being today's featured banking industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the banking industry could consider KBW Bank ETF ( KBE) while those bearish on the banking industry could consider ProShares Short KBW Regional Bankng ( KRS).

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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