Healthcare Realty Trust Inc. (HR): Today's Featured Real Estate Winner

Healthcare Realty ( HR) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 2.3%. By the end of trading, Healthcare Realty rose 12 cents (0.6%) to $22 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.4 million shares of Healthcare Realty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 663,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.41-$22.08 after having opened the day at $21.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.88. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: Supertel Hospitality ( SPPR), up 5.6%, Sprott Resource Lending Corp Class A ( SILU), up 4.4%, American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), up 2.2%, and NTS Realty Holdings ( NLP), up 1.5%.

Acquires existing healthcare facilities, provides property management, leasing and build-to-suit development services, and owns a portfolio of healthcare properties in the U.S. At Dec. 31, 2005, had investments of apx. $1.8 billion in 234 income-producing real estate properties and mortgages. Healthcare Realty has a market cap of $1.69 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 310, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 180.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are three analysts that rate Healthcare Realty a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Healthcare Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

On the negative front, Stratus Properties ( STRS), down 13.6%, SYSWIN ( SYSW), down 13.6%, Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), down 9.5%, and China Housing & Land Development ( CHLN), down 7.4%, were all losers within the real estate industry with Equity Residential ( EQR) 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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