HCP Inc (HCP): 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.

HCP ( HCP) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.4%. By the end of trading, HCP rose $0.77 (1.9%) to $41.66 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,321,008 shares of HCP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,064,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $40.69-$41.66 after having opened the day at $41.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.89. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: Homex Development ( HXM), up 19.1%, Brookfield Residential Properties ( BRP), up 7.4%, American Realty Investors ( ARL), up 6.8% and Trade Street Residential ( TSRE), up 6.6%.

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 $18.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 9.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 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 negative front, Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), down 13.9%, ZipRealty ( ZIPR), down 7.2%, Roberts Realty Investors ( RPI), down 6.9% and HMG/Courtland Properties ( HMG), down 6.2%.

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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