National Retail Properties ( NNN) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, National Retail Properties rose 33 cents (1.3%) to $25.82 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.1 million shares of National Retail Properties exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $25.65-$26.04 after having opened the day at $25.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.49. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: Homex Development ( HXM), up 8.5%, Grubb & Ellis Company ( GBE), up 8.4%, Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), up 7.8%, and Elbit Imaging ( EMITF), up 5.5%.

National Retail Properties, Inc. is a publicly owned equity real estate investment trust. The firm acquires, owns, manages, and develops retail properties in the United States. National Retail Properties has a market cap of $2.43 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.6, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 29.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are three analysts that rate National Retail Properties a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Retail as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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 negative front, IFM Investments ( CTC), down 17.7%, American Realty Investors ( ARL), down 17.3%, Getty Realty Corporation ( GTY), down 11.9%, and Supertel Hospitality ( SPPR), down 7.5%, were all losers within the real estate industry with UDR ( UDR) being today's real estate industry loser.

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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