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Realogy Looks Like the Real Deal

RLGY Chart RLGY data by YCharts

The stock has come a long way in a short period of time.

According to Jim Cramer, "This is a classic case of a deleverage situation. They do issue stock, they pay down debt, the earnings per share go up. That's kind of what Ben Bernanke wanted when he decided to lower rates ... you can refinance everything.

"The important thing is that Mr. Smith, who's the CEO, said there's a housing shortage. It's not a developing housing shortage, there's just a housing shortage and that's how prices are going up 20-30%."

Analysts are expecting a loss of around 43 cents per share. Revenue is estimated to come in at over $964 million. Going into the second quarter and the rest of 2013, analysts forecast positive earnings and big moves higher in revenue.

The case for investing in Realogy is based on a belief in the housing market's recovery and future growth. Recent year-over-year increases in existing-home prices and the prospects for a steady increase in houses sold bode well for this year and for next.

The analyst community has a consensus estimate sales growth and revenue forecast for all of 2013 that tops the $5.1 billion figure.

Here's one last note for investors. John Paulson, through his company, Paulson & Co., held 11% of the convertible bonds in Realogy. Those were were converted into equity, so Paulson's fund has had a handsome return.

The hedge fund's shares are locked up until June, after which the firm has said in a letter to investors that it will exit its huge position "over time." Paulson's stake is much smaller than that owned by Apollo Management Holdings, a part of Apollo Global Management (APO - Get Report), one of the world's largest alternative asset managers.

Apollo Management owns 17% of the outstanding shares of Realogy. Apollo Global reports earnings May 6, and it will be interesting to hear if it announces any plans to unload or spin out its massive holdings.

At the time of publication, the author had no position in stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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