Highwoods Properties (HIW) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Highwoods is likely to witness decent demand and rent growth for its BBD-located Class A office properties given a healthy economy and job-market gains. In first-quarter 2019, the sudden lease termination with Laser Spine Institute at the company’s Avion Park facility overweighed an otherwise decent quarter, suggested by impressive leasing and occupancy. Yet, strong interest from potential tenants has raised optimism about backfilling the property. Further, the company remains focused to sell non-core assets and recycle sale proceeds in development projects. However, the dilutive impact on earnings from such asset dispositions cannot by bypassed in the near term. Also, an extensive development pipeline exposes the company to several risks, including higher development costs. Shares of the company have underperformed the industry, over the past three months.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on HIW. TheStreet downgraded Highwoods Properties from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. Capital One Financial upgraded Highwoods Properties from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a report on Tuesday, January 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $51.60.

Shares of HIW stock opened at $43.86 on Tuesday. Highwoods Properties has a 12 month low of $37.09 and a 12 month high of $52.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00, a quick ratio of 1.12 and a current ratio of 1.12. The company has a market cap of $4.59 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.71, a P/E/G ratio of 3.30 and a beta of 0.97.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.72 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.84 by ($0.12). Highwoods Properties had a net margin of 20.42% and a return on equity of 6.59%. The company had revenue of $172.36 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $181.72 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.85 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Highwoods Properties will post 3.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 4th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 13th will be given a $0.475 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 10th. This represents a $1.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.33%. Highwoods Properties’s dividend payout ratio is 55.07%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 47.9% in the first quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 710 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $33,000 after acquiring an additional 230 shares during the period. Employees Retirement System of Texas boosted its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas now owns 139,460 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $5,396,000 after acquiring an additional 350 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 0.8% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 44,525 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $2,081,000 after acquiring an additional 375 shares during the period. Utah Retirement Systems boosted its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 26,319 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,018,000 after acquiring an additional 400 shares during the period. Finally, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 30.8% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,869 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $77,000 after acquiring an additional 440 shares during the period. 96.03% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Highwoods Properties

Highwoods Properties, Inc, headquartered in Raleigh, is a publicly-traded (NYSE:HIW) real estate investment trust (“REIT”) and a member of the S&P MidCap 400 Index. The Company is a fully-integrated office REIT that owns, develops, acquires, leases and manages properties primarily in the best business districts (BBDs) of Atlanta, Greensboro, Memphis, Nashville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Richmond and Tampa.

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