Zacks Investment Research Lowers Cousins Properties (NYSE:CUZ) to Sell

Cousins Properties (NYSE:CUZ) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have a $39.00 price objective on the real estate investment trust’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 8.33% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Cousins Properties owns a portfolio of premium properties located in fast-growing Sun-Belt market. This will drive robust rent and top-line growth over the long term for the company. Moreover, the merger with TIER REIT improves market scale, and is anticipated to offer operational and leasing synergies. A disciplined balance sheet with ample liquidity will enable it to leverage on improving market fundamentals and raise operational efficiency. However, the company is witnessing higher construction activity in its markets. This is expected to accelerate supply of office properties, resulting in lesser scope for rent and occupancy growth. Further, a significant development pipeline increases operational risks and exposes it to rising construction costs. Also, shares of Cousins Properties have underperformed its industry over the past year.”

Separately, ValuEngine lowered Cousins Properties from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st.

Shares of CUZ stock traded down $0.25 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $36.00. 345,741 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,748,132. Cousins Properties has a 12 month low of $30.12 and a 12 month high of $40.40. The company has a market cap of $5.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.29, a P/E/G ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a quick ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 0.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $34.57 and its 200-day moving average price is $20.90.

Cousins Properties (NYSE:CUZ) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 24th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.71 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by ($0.01). Cousins Properties had a net margin of 10.61% and a return on equity of 1.71%. The business had revenue of $134.93 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $150.56 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.15 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 18.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Cousins Properties will post 2.89 earnings per share for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of CUZ. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Cousins Properties by 7.2% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 5,572,920 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $44,025,000 after purchasing an additional 373,383 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers raised its position in Cousins Properties by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 1,378,212 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $13,314,000 after buying an additional 16,562 shares during the last quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund raised its position in Cousins Properties by 3.8% in the 1st quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 285,435 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,757,000 after buying an additional 10,340 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in Cousins Properties by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 615,782 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $5,948,000 after buying an additional 4,086 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Mercantile Trust Co. raised its position in Cousins Properties by 152.2% in the 1st quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 21,011 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $203,000 after buying an additional 12,681 shares during the last quarter. 92.99% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Cousins Properties Company Profile

Cousins Properties is a fully integrated, self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company, based in Atlanta, GA and acting through its operating partnership, Cousins Properties LP, primarily invests in Class A office towers located in high-growth Sun Belt markets. Founded in 1958, Cousins creates shareholder value through its extensive expertise in the development, acquisition, leasing and management of high-quality real estate assets.

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