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Realogy shares rise on Goldman Sachs "Buy" rating

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Realogy Holdings Corp. rose Monday after Goldman Sachs raised its investment rating on the real estate brokerage operator due to the improving housing market.

THE SPARK: Goldman Sachs analyst Eli Hackel upgraded his rating on Realogy's stock to "Buy" from "Neutral" and raised his price target on the shares to $54 from $51.

THE BIG PICTURE: Realogy's brands include Century 21, Coldwell Banker and The Corcoran Group. The company had its initial public offering in October 2012.

THE ANALYSIS: Hackel said in a note to clients that sales of existing homes have been better than expected and should benefit the company. He said that U.S. homebuyers may believe that closing on an existing home will be quicker and cheaper than closing on the purchase of a new home. The supply of new homes available for sale has been tight.

A representative from Realogy declined to comment.

SHARE ACTION: Up $1.10, or 2.6 percent, to close at $44.14 Monday. Its shares are up 63 percent since its IPO price of $27.