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 0.1%. By the end of trading, HCP rose $0.43 (1.2%) to $36.49 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,309,792 shares of HCP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,793,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $35.67-$36.69 after having opened the day at $35.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.06. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: BRE Properties ( BRE), up 10.8%, American Realty Investors ( ARL), up 6.8%, China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), up 5.7% and Rouse Properties ( RSE), up 5.0%.

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 $16.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 19.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate HCP a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 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, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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 II ( VRTB), down 8.4%, Trade Street Residential ( TSRE), down 3.8%, CoStar Group ( CSGP), down 3.2% and CYS Investments ( CYS), down 2.8% , were all laggards within the real estate industry with Realty Income Corporation ( O) being today's real estate industry laggard.

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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