AvalonBay Communities Inc (AVB): 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.

AvalonBay Communities ( AVB) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, AvalonBay Communities fell $1.47 (-1.1%) to $134.74 on light volume. Throughout the day, 325,679 shares of AvalonBay Communities exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 594,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $134.43-$136.09 after having opened the day at $135.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $136.21. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were: IFM Investments ( CTC), down 8.6%, HMG/Courtland Properties ( HMG), down 7.7%, China Housing & Land Development ( CHLN), down 4.1%, and Thomas Properties Group ( TPGI), down 3.9%.
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AvalonBay Communities, Inc. engages in the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership, and operation of multifamily communities in the United States. AvalonBay Communities has a market cap of $13.21 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 59, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 21.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate AvalonBay Communities a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AvalonBay Communities 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, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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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