Blackstone Group LP (BX): Today's Featured Financial Services 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.

Blackstone Group ( BX) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Blackstone Group rose $0.39 (1.2%) to $31.73 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,351,893 shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,851,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $31.36-$31.88 after having opened the day at $31.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.34. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Mesa Royalty ( MTR), up 6.4%, RENN Global Entrepreneurs Fund ( RCG), up 6.1%, FBR ( FBRC), up 4.8% and Investors Capital Holdings ( ICH), up 4.4%.

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 $18.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 0.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations 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 negative front, MoneyGram International ( MGI), down 13.6%, Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), down 9.6%, Paulson Capital ( PLCC), down 6.1% and QIWI ( QIWI), down 3.9% , were all laggards within the financial services industry with Total System Services ( TSS) being today's financial services industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial services industry could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial services industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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