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

.

Simon Property Group

(

SPG

) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Simon Property Group fell $2.24 (-1.4%) to $156.46 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.5 million shares of Simon Property Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $156.37-$159.12 after having opened the day at $158.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $158.70. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were:

Thomas Properties Group

(

TPGI

), down 4.5%,

Whitestone REIT

(

WSR

), down 4.3%,

Amrep Corporation

(

AXR

), down 4.3%, and

HMG/Courtland Properties

(

HMG

), down 4%.

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Simon Property Group, Inc. is an independent equity real estate investment trust. It engages in investment, ownership, and management of properties. The firm invests in the real estate markets across the globe. Simon Property Group has a market cap of $48.05 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.5, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 31.3 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 22.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Simon Property Group a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Simon Property Group as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the positive front,

General Growth Properties

(

GGP

), up 9.7%,

Vestin Realty Mortgage II

(

VRTB

), up 5.7%,

American Realty Investors

(

ARL

), up 4.1%, and

Gazit-Globe

(

GZT

), up 3.4%, were all gainers within the real estate industry with

Macerich Company

(

MAC

) 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

(

IYR

) while those bearish on the real estate industry could consider

ProShares Short Real Estate Fund

(

REK

).

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