Health Care REIT Inc. (HCN): Today's Featured Real Estate Winner

Health Care REIT ( HCN) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Health Care REIT rose 93 cents (1.7%) to $55.99 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.8 million shares of Health Care REIT exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $55.25-$55.99 after having opened the day at $55.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.06. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: Income Opportunity Realty Investors ( IOT), up 13.9%, American Realty Investors ( ARL), up 10.3%, China Housing & Land Development ( CHLN), up 4.6%, and MHI Hospitality Corporation ( MDH), up 4.3%.

Health Care REIT, Inc. is an independent equity real estate investment trust. The firm engages in acquiring, planning, developing, managing, repositioning and monetizing of real estate assets. It primarily invests in the real estate markets of the United States. Health Care REIT has a market cap of $11.56 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 60.1, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 45.1 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate Health Care REIT a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Health Care REIT as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), down 5%, FirstService Corporation ( FSRV), down 4%, NTS Realty Holdings ( NLP), down 3.6%, and MPG Office ( MPG), down 3.2%, were all losers within the real estate industry with Host Hotels & Resorts ( HST) 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).