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The Financial sector as a whole closed the day up 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which was up 1.3%. Laggards within the Financial sector included First Trust Emerging Markets Local Currency ( FEMB), down 1.7%, Oconee Federal Financial ( OFED), down 2.8%, Emclaire Financial ( EMCF), down 6.0%, Fauquier Bankshares ( FBSS), down 2.7% and China Housing & Land Development ( CHLN), down 6.2%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the sector lower today:

Greenhill ( GHL) is one of the companies that pushed the Financial sector lower today. Greenhill was down $2.48 (6.7%) to $34.40 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 730,824 shares of Greenhill exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 291,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $34.36-$36.80 after having opened the day at $36.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.88.

Greenhill & Co., Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an independent investment bank for corporations, partnerships, institutions, and governments worldwide. The company provides financial advice on mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, financings, and capital raising. Greenhill has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 15.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Greenhill a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Greenhill as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its revenue growth. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on GHL go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • GREENHILL & CO INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GREENHILL & CO INC reported lower earnings of $1.45 versus $1.56 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.00 versus $1.45).
  • The gross profit margin for GREENHILL & CO INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.60%. Regardless of GHL's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 19.86% trails the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry average. The net income has decreased by 3.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $15.78 million to $15.22 million.
  • Looking at the price performance of GHL's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 27.84%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, GHL is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Greenhill Ratings Report

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At the close, China Housing & Land Development ( CHLN) was down $0.03 (6.2%) to $0.45 on light volume. Throughout the day, 8,045 shares of China Housing & Land Development exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 38,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.45-$0.49 after having opened the day at $0.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.48.

China Housing & Land Development, Inc., a real estate development company, is engaged in the acquisition, development, management, and sale of commercial and residential real estate properties primarily in Xi'an, the People's Republic of China. China Housing & Land Development has a market cap of $15.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 5.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates China Housing & Land Development as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CHLN go as follows:

  • Although CHLN's debt-to-equity ratio of 2.58 is very high, it is currently less than that of the industry average.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Management & Development industry and the overall market, CHINA HOUSING & LAND DEV INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • CHLN's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 78.78%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The gross profit margin for CHINA HOUSING & LAND DEV INC is rather low; currently it is at 23.40%. Regardless of CHLN's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.83% trails the industry average.
  • CHINA HOUSING & LAND DEV INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CHINA HOUSING & LAND DEV INC reported lower earnings of $0.34 versus $0.56 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: China Housing & Land Development Ratings Report

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Fauquier Bankshares ( FBSS) was another company that pushed the Financial sector lower today. Fauquier Bankshares was down $0.51 (2.7%) to $18.46 on light volume. Throughout the day, 600 shares of Fauquier Bankshares exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $18.46-$18.62 after having opened the day at $18.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.97.

Fauquier Bankshares, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for The Fauquier Bank that provides various consumer and commercial banking services to individuals, businesses, and industries in Virginia. Fauquier Bankshares has a market cap of $70.8 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 2.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Fauquier Bankshares as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on FBSS go as follows:

  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 31.73% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • FAUQUIER BANKSHARES INC has improved earnings per share by 22.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, FAUQUIER BANKSHARES INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.16 versus $0.56 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 22.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1.16 million to $1.42 million.
  • The gross profit margin for FAUQUIER BANKSHARES INC is currently very high, coming in at 91.48%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 19.07% trails the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, FAUQUIER BANKSHARES INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Fauquier Bankshares Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.