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Shares of HCP Inc. (HCP - Analyst Report) touched a 52-week high of $49.91 on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013, as it gained momentum from better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2012 results. The closing price of this healthcare real estate investment trust (REIT) on Mar 28, 2013 was $49.86, representing a solid year-to-date return of 10.7%. The average trading volume over the last 3 months was 2.87 million shares.

Despite hitting its 52-week high, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has plenty of upside left given its strong estimate revisions over the last 30 days.
Growth Drivers

HCP reported improved fourth-quarter 2012 results with core FFO and revenues beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate. HCP’s diversified portfolio, which provides a steady source of income, drove the quarterly results. Also, the closure of the Senior Housing portfolio acquisition during the fourth quarter boosted the company’s portfolio diversification activity. Alongside, the dividend hike during the quarter boosted investors’ confidence in the stock.

On Feb 12, HCP reported fourth-quarter 2012 adjusted FFO (funds from operations) per share of 72 cents, a penny ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and a nickel above the prior-year quarter figure. The results were driven by better-than-expected growth in revenues. For full year 2012, adjusted FFO came in at $2.78 per share, a cent above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.77 per share and exceeded the prior-year figure of $2.69 per share.

Notably, HCP has now delivered positive earnings surprises in 4 straight quarters with an average beat of 1.44%.

Estimate Revisions

Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year 2013 has remained unchanged at $2.97 per share. On the other hand, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year 2014 has moved up marginally to $3.15 per share.

On Mar 28, a number of REITs crafted 52-week highs. This includes Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. (PCL - Analyst Report), Health Care REIT, Inc. (HCN - Analyst Report) and The Macerich Company (MAC - Analyst Report).

Note: Funds from operations, a widely accepted and reported measure of REITs performance, are derived by adding depreciation, amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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