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Rayonier ( RYN) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Rayonier rose $0.53 (1.3%) to $41.91 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,273,665 shares of Rayonier exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,358,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $41.23-$41.94 after having opened the day at $41.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.38. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: Blackstone Mortgage ( BXMT), up 10.6%, LGI Homes ( LGIH), up 6.3%, Essent Group ( ESNT), up 2.9% and Intergroup Corporation ( INTG), up 2.8%.

Rayonier, Inc. engages in the sale and development of real estate and timberland management, as well as in the production and sale of cellulose fibers in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. Rayonier has a market cap of $5.2 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Rayonier a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rayonier as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Gaming and Leisure Properties ( GLPI), down 20.4%, Roberts Realty Investors ( RPI), down 7.4%, RE/MAX Holdings Inc Class A ( RMAX), down 6.4% and Impac Mortgage Holdings ( IMH), down 5.8% , were all laggards within the real estate industry with Zillow ( Z) 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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