American Express Co (AXP): 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.

American Express ( AXP) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, American Express fell $1.56 (-1.8%) to $86.99 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 5,598,078 shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,639,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $86.88-$89.00 after having opened the day at $88.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $88.55. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: Gaming and Leisure Properties ( GLPI), down 18.4%, Credit Suisse ( DGAZ), down 15.7%, American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), down 11.8% and OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), down 10.0%.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $95.2 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate American Express a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and notable return on equity. 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 positive front, Teche ( TSH), up 28.8%, Credit Suisse ( UGAZ), up 16.1%, Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), up 12.8% and Cash Store Financial Services ( CSFS), up 12.4% , were all gainers within the financial sector with Two Harbors Investment ( TWO) 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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