Equity Residential (EQR): 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

Equity Residential ( EQR) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Equity Residential fell $0.59 (-1.0%) to $56.61 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,137,953 shares of Equity Residential exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,093,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $56.42-$57.37 after having opened the day at $57.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.20. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were: Homex Development ( HXM), down 26.2%, Doral Financial ( DRL), down 4.8%, Marlin Business Services ( MRLN), down 4.6% and E-House China Holdings ( EJ), down 3.8%.
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Equity Residential, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, development, and management of multifamily properties in the United States. Equity Residential has a market cap of $20.8 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 62.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Equity Residential as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Transcontinental Realty Investors ( TCI), down 4.7%, Brookfield Office Properties Canada ( BOXC), down 4.7%, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings ( NSM), down 3.0% and PennyMac Mortgage Investment ( PMT), down 2.9% , were all gainers within the real estate industry with Two Harbors Investment ( TWO) 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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