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Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model


American Tower



) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, American Tower fell 80 cents (-1%) to $76.15 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.9 million shares of American Tower exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of two million shares. The stock ranged in price between $75.37-$77.15 after having opened the day at $77.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.95. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were:

Elbit Imaging



), down 6.4%,

Income Opportunity Realty Investors



), down 4.6%,

Doral Financial


TheStreet Recommends


), down 4.4%, and

AvalonBay Communities



), down 4.3%.

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American Tower Corporation, a real estate investment trust, operates as a wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure company. It develops, owns, and operates communications sites. American Tower has a market cap of $31.19 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate American Tower a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Tower as a


. 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, revenue growth and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front,

Altisource Residential Corporation



), up 20%,

CreXus Investment



), up 6.3%,

Intergroup Corporation



), up 5.5%, and

Marlin Business Services



), up 3.9%, were all gainers within the real estate industry with

Nationstar Mortgage Holdings



) being today's featured real estate industry leader.

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



) while those bearish on the real estate industry could consider

ProShares Short Real Estate Fund




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