SunTrust Banks Inc (STI): Today's Featured Banking Winner

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.

SunTrust Banks ( STI) pushed the Banking industry higher today making it today's featured banking winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, SunTrust Banks rose $0.74 (2.0%) to $38.01 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,908,202 shares of SunTrust Banks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,402,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $37.46-$38.07 after having opened the day at $37.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.27. Other companies within the Banking industry that increased today were: Credit Suisse ( DGAZ), up 10.8%, PSB Holdings ( PSBH), up 6.4%, Home Bancorp ( HBCP), up 6.2% and Village Bank and Trust Financial Corporatio ( VBFC), up 6.1%.

SunTrust Banks, Inc. operates as the holding company for SunTrust Bank that provides various financial services in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management, Wholesale Banking, and Mortgage Banking. SunTrust Banks has a market cap of $19.8 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate SunTrust Banks a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates SunTrust Banks as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Credit Suisse ( UGAZ), down 11.9%, Wayne Savings ( WAYN), down 8.8%, OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), down 8.3% and Jacksonville Bancorp ( JAXB), down 5.7% , were all laggards within the banking industry with HDFC Bank ( HDB) being today's banking industry laggard.

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).

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