Equity Residential (EQR): Today's Featured Real Estate Winner

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.

Equity Residential ( EQR) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Equity Residential rose 61 cents (1%) to $60.93 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.9 million shares of Equity Residential exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $59.55-$60.98 after having opened the day at $60.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.32. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: IFM Investments ( CTC), up 6.6%, American Realty Investors ( ARL), up 6.5%, Optibase ( OBAS), up 4.4%, and Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), up 3.8%.

Equity Residential, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, development, and management of multifamily properties in the United States. Equity Residential has a market cap of $18.31 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 162.5, below the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 178.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Equity Residential a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Equity Residential as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Vestin Realty Mortgage II ( VRTB), down 8.3%, HMG/Courtland Properties ( HMG), down 5.7%, Income Opportunity Realty Investors ( IOT), down 3.6%, and IRSA Investments and Representations ( IRS), down 3.3%, were all laggards within the real estate industry with Prologis ( PLD) being today's real estate industry laggard.

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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