Liberty Property Trust (LPT) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Liberty Property have outperformed the industry it belongs to, in the past year. Notably, the company is gradually shifting its focus towards industrial properties due to favorable demand supply conditions. As part of that, Liberty Property is enhancing its portfolio mix through continued divestitures of office properties. While such efforts are a strategic fit for long-term growth, the near-term dilution effect of such moves on earnings is unavoidable. Moreover, supply of industrial real estates is likely to increase in the upcoming quarters and adversely affect the growth tempo of this real estate market. Also, rate hike remains a concern. Nevertheless, its premium quality industrial properties, situated in key locations, have the capacity to drive long-term growth by leveraging on the e-commerce boom and supply-chain strategy transformations.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Liberty Property Trust from $43.00 to $44.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, December 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Liberty Property Trust from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $41.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Friday, December 15th. ValuEngine raised shares of Liberty Property Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. Sandler O’Neill raised shares of Liberty Property Trust from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $45.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on shares of Liberty Property Trust from $44.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $43.75.

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE LPT) traded down $0.79 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $41.66. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 918,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 789,267. The stock has a market capitalization of $6,257.89, a P/E ratio of 17.58, a P/E/G ratio of 2.71 and a beta of 0.89. Liberty Property Trust has a 12-month low of $37.21 and a 12-month high of $45.40. The company has a current ratio of 1.78, a quick ratio of 1.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93.

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.63 by ($0.23). The company had revenue of $193.65 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $174.65 million. Liberty Property Trust had a return on equity of 11.41% and a net margin of 47.78%. The company’s revenue was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.66 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Liberty Property Trust will post 2.55 earnings per share for the current year.

Liberty Property Trust declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Monday, October 2nd that permits the company to repurchase $250.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the real estate investment trust to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director David L. Lingerfelt sold 18,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.56, for a total value of $802,080.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 56,814 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,531,631.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LPT. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC bought a new position in Liberty Property Trust in the third quarter valued at $100,000. Advisor Group Inc. increased its stake in Liberty Property Trust by 3.9% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,585 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $105,000 after acquiring an additional 98 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia increased its stake in Liberty Property Trust by 4.8% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 3,119 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $126,000 after acquiring an additional 143 shares during the last quarter. Spectrum Management Group Inc. bought a new position in Liberty Property Trust in the third quarter valued at $168,000. Finally, Emerald Advisers Inc. PA bought a new position in Liberty Property Trust in the third quarter valued at $208,000. 91.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Liberty Property Trust

Liberty Property Trust (the Trust) is a self-administered and self-managed Maryland real estate investment trust (REIT). The Trust’s assets are owned directly or indirectly, and substantially all of the Trust’s operations are conducted directly or indirectly, by its subsidiary, Liberty Property Limited Partnership (the Operating Partnership).

Analyst Recommendations for Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT)

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