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


AvalonBay Communities



) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, AvalonBay Communities fell $1.75 (-1.4%) to $127.39 on average volume. Throughout the day, 765,300 shares of AvalonBay Communities exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 602,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $127.36-$129.90 after having opened the day at $129.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $129.14. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were:

Transcontinental Realty



), down 8.2%,

Vestin Realty Mortgage I



), down 4.5%,

MPG Office



), down 3.5%, and

E-House China Holdings



), down 3.3%.

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AvalonBay Communities, Inc. engages in the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership, and operation of multifamily communities in the United States. AvalonBay Communities has a market cap of $12.7 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 48, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate AvalonBay Communities a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AvalonBay Communities as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front,

NTS Realty Holdings



), up 38.4%,

Doral Financial



), up 6.4%,

FelCor Lodging



), up 5.7%, and

Summit Hotel Properties



), up 4.2%, were all gainers within the real estate industry with




) 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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