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Buying the Right REIT

The rally in real estate investment trusts “has gotten a bit ahead of itself,” a former top analyst turned industry executive told Cramer and Erin Burnett during Monday’s Stop Trading!. But there are sectors worth buying within the REIT group, the executive said.

From the February 2007 peak to the trough, REITs fell more than 70%, said Jonathan Litt, founder and CEO of Land & Buildings Investment Management, and have regained 60% of those losses since the bottom. While REITs are still 10% below the peak, Litt doubted they even deserved these prices, which are about the same as the group’s average historical valuation. Given tight financing and “deteriorating” fundamentals, he said, REITs should “probably…trade at a below-average historical valuation.”

Litt said his firm was bullish on Chinese property companies such as CR Land, Hong Kong Land and China Overseas Land & Investment, as well as U.S. hotels, and bearish on apartment and office REITs.

Elsewhere in the market, Cramer endorsed First Solar no matter where oil prices are, saying FSLR was “the only play that I want as oil goes higher.” He recommended waiting for a potential analyst downgrade given the stock’s sudden dip on Monday and then buying on weakness.

Investors should consider buying Johnson Controls as a play on increased car production, Cramer said. He called JCI “a very well-run company” that has businesses beyond just the auto sector. He also said that Ford would have been a good addition to the Dow Jones Industrial Average to replace General Motors.

Lastly, Sears Holdings is the stock to own on consumers’ return to the mall. Few on Wall Street seem to believe in the company, yet the stock has risen consistently anyway.

Sears is “one of the best-acting retailers out there,” Cramer said.





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