HCP Inc (HCP): Today's Featured Real Estate Winner

HCP ( HCP) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, HCP rose 61 cents (1.5%) to $41.36 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.8 million shares of HCP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $40.61-$41.37 after having opened the day at $40.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.75. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), up 14.2%, E-House China Holdings ( EJ), up 13%, Income Opportunity Realty Investors ( IOT), up 10.4%, and Dupont Fabros Technology ( DFT), up 7.7%.

HCP, Inc. is an independent hybrid real estate investment trust. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. HCP has a market cap of $16.43 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.3, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 31 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate HCP a buy, four analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year 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, IRSA Investments and Representations ( IRS), down 4.8%, Urstadt Biddle Properties ( UBP), down 4.1%, Rouse Properties ( RSE), down 3.8%, and Bluegreen Corporation ( BXG), down 3.3%, were all losers within the real estate industry with Digital Realty ( DLR) 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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