5 Stocks Driving The Real Estate Industry Higher

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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 87 points (0.5%) at 16,266 as of Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,274 issues advancing vs. 691 declining with 120 unchanged.

The Real Estate industry currently sits up 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the industry include Brookfield Residential Properties ( BRP), up 4.3%, Chimera Investment Corporation ( CIM), up 2.2%, Annaly Capital Management ( NLY), up 2.2%, American Capital Agency ( AGNC), up 1.2% and Rayonier ( RYN), up 1.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include SL Green Realty Corporation ( SLG), down 1.3%, Essex Property ( ESS), down 1.2%, Realty Income Corporation ( O), down 0.9% and Icahn ( IEP), down 0.5%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

5. CoStar Group ( CSGP) is one of the companies pushing the Real Estate industry higher today. As of noon trading, CoStar Group is up $1.92 (1.1%) to $180.00 on heavy volume. Thus far, 104,684 shares of CoStar Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 131,000 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $175.67-$180.00 after having opened the day at $178.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $178.08.

CoStar Group, Inc. provides information, analytics, and marketing services to the commercial real estate industry in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. CoStar Group has a market cap of $5.2 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 232.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 99.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate CoStar Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CoStar Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full CoStar Group Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

4. As of noon trading, Liberty Property ( LRY) is up $0.40 (1.2%) to $34.40 on light volume. Thus far, 336,099 shares of Liberty Property exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 959,100 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.20-$34.43 after having opened the day at $34.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.00.

Liberty Property Trust is a publicly owned real estate investment holding trust. Through its subsidiary, it provides leasing, property management, development, acquisition, and other tenant-related services for a portfolio of industrial and office properties. Liberty Property has a market cap of $5.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Liberty Property a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Liberty Property as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Liberty Property Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

3. As of noon trading, Federal Realty Investment ( FRT) is up $0.97 (1.0%) to $101.81 on light volume. Thus far, 146,880 shares of Federal Realty Investment exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 392,000 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $100.96-$102.00 after having opened the day at $101.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $100.84.

Federal Realty Investment Trust operates as a real estate investment trust, which engages in the ownership, management, development, and redevelopment of retail and mixed-use properties. Federal Realty Investment has a market cap of $6.7 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 47.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Federal Realty Investment a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Federal Realty Investment as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, 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. Get the full Federal Realty Investment Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

2. As of noon trading, CBRE Group ( CBG) is up $0.24 (0.9%) to $25.80 on light volume. Thus far, 851,136 shares of CBRE Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $25.51-$25.80 after having opened the day at $25.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.56.

CBRE Group, Inc. operates as a commercial real estate services and investment company. The company's segments include Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Asia Pacific; Global Investment Management; and Development Services. CBRE Group has a market cap of $8.5 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 28.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate CBRE Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CBRE Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full CBRE Group Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

1. As of noon trading, Digital Realty ( DLR) is up $0.43 (0.9%) to $46.72 on light volume. Thus far, 405,222 shares of Digital Realty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $45.89-$47.11 after having opened the day at $45.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.29.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), through its controlling interest in Digital Realty Trust, L.P., engages in the ownership, acquisition, development, redevelopment, and management of technology-related real estate. Digital Realty has a market cap of $6.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 31.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Digital Realty a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Digital Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Digital Realty Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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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