Home Properties Inc. (HME): Today's Featured Real Estate Laggard

Home Properties ( HME) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Home Properties fell 60 cents (-0.9%) to $65.04 on average volume. Throughout the day, 721,119 shares of Home Properties exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 590,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $64.93-$65.89 after having opened the day at $65.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.64. Other company's within the Real Estate industry that declined today were: Stratus Properties ( STRS), down 9.9%, Washington REIT ( WRE), down 5.2%, ZipRealty ( ZIPR), down 5%, and Power REIT ( PW), down 3.3%.

Home Properties, Inc. is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It is engaged in the ownership, management, acquisition, rehabilitation and development of residential apartment communities. Home Properties has a market cap of $3.22 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 65.5, equal to the average real estate industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Home Properties a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Home Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, SYSWIN ( SYSW), up 17.6%, Doral Financial ( DRL), up 11.4%, Cedar Realty ( CDR), up 7.5%, and Entertainment Properties ( EPR), up 7.2%, were all gainers within the real estate industry with Digital Realty ( DLR) being today's featured real estate industry leader.

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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