The 15 Most-Watched REITs

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People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

With this data we have come up with a new metric, watch interest, to inform investors what stocks their peers keep tabs on in each industry. In the case of the real estate investment trust industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on REIT stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. By looking at what stocks people are most interested in an industry, you can get ahead of the curve by finding hot stocks that you might have otherwise overlooked. The industry has been doing well as record low interest rates help mortgage REITs earn the fattest spreads in years.

The most-watched REIT is ...Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Annaly Capital Management (NYS: NLY) is above the rest in terms of watch interest and for good reason. As CAPS player hejustlaughs wrote last month:

Interest rates aren't going anywhere anytime soon. This mREIT's seasoned management will be able to deliver great returns for at least a year out.

Here are the rest of the 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.

 

Company

Market Cap

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Watch Interest

1

Annaly Capital Management

$17.2 billion

***

22.8%

2

Chimera Investment (NYS: CIM)

$3.1 billion

****

14.2%

3

American Capital Agency (NAS: AGNC)

$3.7 billion

****

8.9%

4

Plum Creek Timber (NYS: PCL)

$5.8 billion

****

3.9%

5

Cypress Sharpridge Investments (NYS: CYS)

$1.1 billon

*****

3.2%

6

Hatteras Financial (NYS: HTS)

$2.0 billion

*****

2.9%

7

RAIT Financial Trust (NYS: RAS)

$141 million

*****

2.6%

8

Invesco Mortgage Capital (NYS: IVR)

$1.3 billion

****

2.3%

9

Weyerhaeuser (NYS: WY)

$8.8 billion

***

2.2%

10

Anworth Mortgage Asset (NYS: ANH)

$940 million

**

1.8%

11

Two Harbors Investment (NYS: TWO)

$1.3 billion

*****

1.6%

12

Resource Capital (NYS: RSO)

$368 million

****

1.4%

13

Health Care REIT (NYS: HCN)

$7.9 billion

****

1.3%

14

Realty Income (NYS: O)

$3.9 billion

**

1.3%

15

ARMOUR Residential REIT (NYS: ARR)

$563 million

***

1.3%

Sources: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Annaly Capital or are watching an up-and-comer like ARMOUR Residential REIT, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.

At the time this article was published Dan Dzombak's musings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account:@DanDzombak. He owns shares of Annaly Capital Management.The Motley Fool owns shares of Annaly Capital Management and Chimera Investment. The Fool owns shares of and has written puts on Plum Creek Timber. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Health Care REIT. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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