Equity Residential (EQR): 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.

Equity Residential ( EQR) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.7%. By the end of trading, Equity Residential fell $0.58 (-1.1%) to $54.80 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,930,288 shares of Equity Residential exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,050,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $54.61-$55.25 after having opened the day at $55.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.38. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were: Gaming and Leisure Properties ( GLPI), down 25.6%, Elbit Imaging ( EMITF), down 8.7%, Icahn ( IEP), down 6.6% and IFM Investments ( CTC), down 6.4%.

Equity Residential, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, development, and management of multifamily properties in the United States. Equity Residential has a market cap of $19.9 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 424.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Equity Residential a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Equity Residential as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), up 8.9%, American Realty Investors ( ARL), up 5.4%, Glimcher Realty ( GRT), up 2.9% and HMG/Courtland Properties ( HMG), up 2.9%.

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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