American Express Co (AXP): 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.

American Express ( AXP) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, American Express fell $1.25 (-2.2%) to $54.44 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 9.8 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $54.35-$55.72 after having opened the day at $55.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.69. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were: Doral Financial ( DRL), down 10.6%, China Housing & Land Development ( CHLN), down 8.6%, Roberts Realty Investors ( RPI), down 5.3%, and Tree.com ( TREE), down 3.6%.
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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 $63.24 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 18.1% 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, solid stock price performance 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 positive front, Income Opportunity Realty Investors ( IOT), up 8.1%, Power REIT ( PW), up 5.4%, American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), up 4.7%, and Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), up 3.7%, were all gainers within the real estate industry with Equity Residential ( EQR) being today's featured real estate industry leader.

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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