Realogy Looks Like the Real Deal

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's hard to believe that we're in the sixth year from the top of the last housing bubble and the resulting crash in housing prices. The going has been tough on the real estate business overall.

Now, thanks mainly to the Federal Reserve's Zero Interest Rate Program (ZIRP) and the most massive version of quantitative easing yet, the housing market has leapt from its grave like a super-charged, re-energized mummy on steroids.

What's timely here is that we're just coming out of the housing trough or the grave, and after running around the cemetery to stretch its new-found muscles, the real estate mummy has shed its wrap and is beginning to rise on the wings of monetary stimulation.

This is good news for one newly resurrected entity called Realogy Holdings ( RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising with company-owned real estate brokerage operations doing business under its franchise systems as well as relocation and title services.

Realogy's brands and business units include such names as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21 Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial, The Corcoran Group, ERA, Sotheby's International Realty, NRT LLC, Cartus and Title Resource Group.

Collectively, Realogy's franchise system members operate approximately 13,600 offices with 238,900 independent sales associates doing business in 102 countries around the world. Realogy is headquartered in Madison, N.J.

From my vantage point, their brightest star is NRT, with operations in more than 35 major metropolitan markets. The latest list of highlights about NRT includes the following:
  • The largest operator of residential real estate brokerages in the U.S.
  • More than 710 company-owned offices with approximately 41,300 independent sales associates
  • Posted approximately $108.9 billion (pro forma) in total residential real estate volume in 2011
  • Completed approximately 370 acquisitions since 1997
  • All of NRT's local companies are ranked among the top three in their respective markets

Realogy will present its first-quarter 2013 earnings report and conference call on Wednesday after the markets close. The company chose to go public when it saw an established recovery in the housing markets. On Oct. 11, 2012, the stock began trading publicly and was up 26.7% the first day, to close at $34.20. It was the right time for such an offering, and the markets agreed.

You can see from the six-month chart below, since late November 2012 the shares of RGLY moved sequentially up to over $50 a share before pulling back of late.

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