HCP Inc (HCP): Today's Featured Financial 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.

HCP ( HCP) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, HCP fell 58 cents (-1.2%) to $46.42 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.3 million shares of HCP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $46.32-$47.26 after having opened the day at $47.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: VelocityShares 2x Inverse Copper ETN ( SCPR), down 19.2%, Impac Mortgage Holdings ( IMH), down 13.4%, First United ( FUNC), down 9.9%, and Colony Bankcorp ( CBAN), down 8.9%.
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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 $20.07 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.2, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 31.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 positive front, Southcoast Financial Corporation ( SOCB), up 19.6%, Penson Worldwide ( PNSN), up 11.3%, Arbor Realty ( ABR), up 10.5%, and GFI Group ( GFIG), up 7.7%, were all gainers within the financial sector with Prudential Financial ( PRU) being today's featured financial sector leader.

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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