American Express Co (AXP): 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.

American Express ( AXP) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, American Express rose 63 cents (1.1%) to $55.86 on average volume. Throughout the day, four million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $54.92-$55.88 after having opened the day at $55.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.23. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: Doral Financial ( DRL), up 14.7%, American Realty Investors ( ARL), up 7.8%, ZipRealty ( ZIPR), up 7.6%, and Impac Mortgage Holdings ( IMH), up 6.9%.
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American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $60.77 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate American Express a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, increase in net income, increase in stock price during the past year and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, J.W. Mays ( MAYS), down 11.8%, Western Asset Mortgage Capital ( WMC), down 2.8%, Alto Palermo ( APSA), down 2.3%, and E-House China Holdings ( EJ), down 1.9%, were all laggards within the real estate industry with General Growth Properties ( GGP) 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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