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Northstar Realty Finance Corporation (NRF): Today's Featured Real Estate 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.

Northstar Realty Finance Corporation ( NRF) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Northstar Realty Finance Corporation rose $0.74 (5.0%) to $15.62 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 25,352,142 shares of Northstar Realty Finance Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10,285,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $15.07-$15.88 after having opened the day at $15.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.88. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: J.W. Mays ( MAYS), up 9.2%, JGWPT Holdings Inc Class A ( JGW), up 6.0%, Altis Resident ( RESI), up 4.2% and Rexford Industrial Realty ( REXR), up 3.4%.

NorthStar Realty Finance Corp., a real estate investment trust (REIT), operates as a commercial real estate (CRE) investment and asset management company in the United States. Northstar Realty Finance Corporation has a market cap of $4.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 10.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Northstar Realty Finance Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Northstar Realty Finance Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

On the negative front, Desarrolladora Homex SAB de CV ADR ( HXM), down 17.9%, Supertel Hospitality ( SPPR), down 17.8%, Campus Crest Communities ( CCG), down 10.4% and Walter Investment Management ( WAC), down 8.4% , were all laggards within the real estate industry with General Growth Properties ( GGP) being today's real estate industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the real estate industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate ( IYR) while those bearish on the real estate industry could consider ProShares Short Real Estate Fund ( REK).

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