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

Health Care REIT ( HCN) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Health Care REIT rose 34 cents (0.6%) to $60.95 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.6 million shares of Health Care REIT exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $60.50-$61.19 after having opened the day at $60.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.61. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: HMG/Courtland Properties ( HMG), up 13.7%, United Security ( USBI), up 9.4%, Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM.A), up 8.8%, and Penson Worldwide ( PNSN), up 8.3%.

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 $12.74 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 53.2, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 48.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are seven 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group ( RODM), down 16.2%, Direct Markets Holdings ( MKTS), down 16.2%, Palmetto ( PLMT), down 15%, and Broadway Financial ( BYFC), down 14.3%, were all losers within the financial sector with T. Rowe Price Group ( TROW) being today's financial sector loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).
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