HCP Inc (HCP): Today's Featured Real Estate Laggard

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.

HCP ( HCP) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, HCP fell $0.42 (-1.0%) to $40.78 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,808,823 shares of HCP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,150,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $40.54-$41.11 after having opened the day at $41.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.20. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were: Roberts Realty Investors ( RPI), down 8.0%, Vestin Realty Mortgage II ( VRTB), down 5.6%, Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), down 5.3% and Elbit Imaging ( EMITF), down 3.7%.

HCP, Inc. is an independent hybrid real estate investment trust. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. HCP has a market cap of $18.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate HCP a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, ZipRealty ( ZIPR), up 8.4%, Zillow ( Z), up 7.4%, Homex Development ( HXM), up 5.5% and Alto Palermo ( APSA), up 4.6% , were all gainers within the real estate industry with Annaly Capital Management ( NLY) 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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