HCP Inc (HCP): 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.

HCP ( HCP) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, HCP rose 45 cents (1%) to $45.63 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.8 million shares of HCP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $44.95-$45.76 after having opened the day at $45.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.18. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: Income Opportunity Realty Investors ( IOT), up 12.7%, E-House China Holdings ( EJ), up 7%, MFA Financial ( MFA), up 6.7%, and Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), up 6.5%.

HCP, Inc. is an independent hybrid real estate investment trust. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. HCP has a market cap of $19.44 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.2, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 30.8 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 Wednesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate HCP a buy, four analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Roberts Realty Investors ( RPI), down 11.6%, American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), down 8.9%, Tree.com ( TREE), down 8.5%, and American Realty Investors ( ARL), down 8.2%, were all laggards within the real estate industry with Vornado Realty ( VNO) 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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