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MFA Financial Inc. (MFA): Today's Featured Real Estate Straggler

Tickers in this article: MFA

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model .

MFA Financial ( MFA) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, MFA Financial fell 13 cents (-1.4%) to $9.14 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 7.2 million shares of MFA Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $9.09-$9.26 after having opened the day at $9.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.27. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were: NTS Realty Holdings ( NLP), down 6.3%, Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), down 5.2%, Resource Capital Corporation ( RSO), down 4.6%, and Optibase ( OBAS), down 4%.

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MFA Financial, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in residential agency and non-agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). MFA Financial has a market cap of $3.39 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are six analysts that rate MFA Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MFA Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and deteriorating net income.

On the positive front, Altis Resident ( RESI), up 32.2%, Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), up 24.1%, Doral Financial ( DRL), up 17.3%, and American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), up 12.9%, were all gainers within the real estate industry with Host Hotels & Resorts ( HST) being today's featured real estate industry leader.

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).