Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (PDM) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:PDM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Friday, May 5th.

According to Zacks, “Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. is an integrated and self-managed real estate investment trust specializing in the acquisition, ownership, management and development of commercial real estate properties. That includes properties that are under construction, newly constructed, or have operating histories. The Company is primarily focused on high-quality Class A office buildings located in major U.S. markets and leased primarily to high-credit quality tenants. Major markets include: Washington, D.C., greater Los Angeles, the New York metropolitan area, Boston and Chicago. Piedmont conducts business primarily through Piedmont Operating Partnership, LP; a Delaware limited partnership, as well as performing the management of its buildings through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Piedmont Government Services, LLC and Piedmont Office Management, LLC. Piedmont OP owns a majority of its properties directly and a limited number through joint ventures with real estate limited partnerships with other third parties. “

Separately, Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Piedmont Office Realty Trust from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $18.00 to $20.50 in a research report on Monday, January 23rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust (NYSE:PDM) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.10 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.34. Piedmont Office Realty Trust had a return on equity of 4.95% and a net margin of 19.41%. The business had revenue of $148.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $145.35 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.41 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 16th. Investors of record on Friday, May 26th will be issued a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 24th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.91%. Piedmont Office Realty Trust’s payout ratio is currently 113.51%.

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Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 3,921.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,609,860 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $205,459,000 after buying an additional 9,370,868 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Piedmont Office Realty Trust during the fourth quarter valued at $29,672,000. Systematic Financial Management LP raised its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 374.8% in the first quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 1,492,017 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $31,899,000 after buying an additional 1,177,792 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 2.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 23,021,266 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $492,194,000 after buying an additional 511,212 shares during the period. Finally, LSV Asset Management raised its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 3.8% in the first quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 6,705,681 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $143,367,000 after buying an additional 246,000 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.33% of the company’s stock.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust Company Profile

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc is an integrated self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s business consists primarily of owning, managing, operating, leasing, acquiring, developing, investing in, and disposing of office real estate assets. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned and operated 65 in-service office properties, one redevelopment asset, two development assets and one office building through an unconsolidated joint venture.

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