Digital Realty Trust Inc. (DLR): Today's Featured Real Estate Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Digital Realty ( DLR) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Digital Realty fell 95 cents (-1.2%) to $75.65 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.3 million shares of Digital Realty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $75.20-$76.92 after having opened the day at $76.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.60. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were: Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), down 16%, Impac Mortgage Holdings ( IMH), down 13.1%, E-House China Holdings ( EJ), down 4.7%, and Pennsylvania REIT ( PEI), down 4.3%.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), through its controlling interest in Digital Realty Trust, L.P., engages in the ownership, acquisition, development, redevelopment, and management of technology-related real estate. Digital Realty has a market cap of $9.24 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 54.2, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 54.1 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Digital Realty a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Digital Realty as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, IFM Investments ( CTC), up 15.1%, Thomas Properties Group ( TPGI), up 10.7%, Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), up 7.1%, and Forestar Group ( FOR), up 7.1%, were all gainers within the real estate industry with Duke Realty ( DRE) 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).