Essex Property Trust (ESS): 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.

Essex Property ( ESS) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Essex Property rose $1.73 (1.0%) to $169.62 on light volume. Throughout the day, 557,089 shares of Essex Property exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 839,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $167.21-$169.66 after having opened the day at $167.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $167.89. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: Zillow ( Z), up 7.6%, Starwood Waypoint Residential ( SWAY), up 5.3%, Elbit Imaging ( EMITF), up 4.2% and CoStar Group ( CSGP), up 3.9%.

Essex Property Trust, Inc. operates as a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust in the United States. It engages in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development, and redevelopment of apartment communities, as well as commercial properties. Essex Property has a market cap of $6.5 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 17.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Essex Property a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Essex Property as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Desarrolladora Homex SAB de CV ADR ( HXM), down 7.0%, Doral Financial ( DRL), down 4.5%, New England Realty Associates ( NEN), down 3.6% and Vestin Realty Mortgage II ( VRTB), down 3.5% , were all laggards within the real estate industry with CBRE Group ( CBG) 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).

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

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