Blackstone Group LP (BX): 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.

Blackstone Group ( BX) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Blackstone Group fell $0.57 (-1.8%) to $31.48 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6,691,854 shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,680,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $31.42-$32.68 after having opened the day at $32.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.05. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: Gyrodyne Company of America ( GYRO), down 26.8%, American Independence Corporation ( AMIC), down 8.6%, ELEMENTS MLCX Biofuels Index Total Return E ( FUE), down 7.9% and db X-trackers In-Target Date Fund ( TDX), down 6.9%.

The Blackstone Group L.P. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm also provides financial advisory services to its clients. It provides its services to public and corporate pension funds, academic, cultural, and charitable organizations. Blackstone Group has a market cap of $17.7 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Blackstone Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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

On the positive front, Marine Petroleum ( MARPS), up 14.2%, Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), up 10.4%, Income Opportunity Realty Investors ( IOT), up 8.0% and Gaming and Leisure Properties ( GLPI), up 7.8% , were all gainers within the financial sector with Regions Financial Corporation ( RF) 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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