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 $0.56 (1.5%) to $38.51 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,103,405 shares of SunTrust Banks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,342,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $38.34-$39.41 after having opened the day at $38.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.95. Other companies within the Banking industry that increased today were: Republic First Bancorp ( FRBK), up 9.7%, First Financial Service Corporation ( FFKY), up 9.6%, Jacksonville Bancorp ( JXSB), up 9.3% and Valley Financial ( VYFC), up 6.0%.

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 $20.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 3.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate SunTrust Banks a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 14 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 increase in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Athens Bancshares Corporation ( AFCB), down 11.3%, Doral Financial ( DRL), down 4.5%, Mid Penn Bancorp ( MPB), down 3.6% and Guaranty Federal ( GFED), down 3.3% , were all laggards within the banking industry with PacWest Bancorp ( PACW) 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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