American Tower Corp (AMT): Today's Featured Real Estate Winner

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

American Tower ( AMT) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.0%. By the end of trading, American Tower rose $1.18 (1.7%) to $70.06 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,521,207 shares of American Tower exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,278,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $68.81-$70.10 after having opened the day at $69.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.88. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), up 20.1%, Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), up 13.4%, Elbit Imaging ( EMITF), up 12.7% and CYS Investments ( CYS), up 9.7%.

American Tower Corporation, a real estate investment trust, operates as a wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure company. It develops, owns, and operates communications sites. American Tower has a market cap of $27.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 10.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate American Tower a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Tower as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Homex Development ( HXM), down 9.4%, American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), down 7.6%, Preferred Apartment Communities ( APTS), down 4.2% and Roberts Realty Investors ( RPI), down 3.1%.

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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