Janney Montgomery Scott began coverage on shares of Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HIW) in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The firm set a “neutral” rating on the real estate investment trust’s stock.

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Highwoods Properties from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub lowered shares of Highwoods Properties from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Highwoods Properties presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $55.00.

Shares of Highwoods Properties (HIW) traded down 0.48% on Friday, reaching $51.79. 35,113 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $5.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.30 and a beta of 0.88. Highwoods Properties has a 52-week low of $45.83 and a 52-week high of $53.26. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $51.06 and its 200-day moving average is $50.83.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.59. The firm had revenue of $177.28 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $172.28 million. Highwoods Properties had a net margin of 18.79% and a return on equity of 5.96%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.32 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Highwoods Properties will post $1.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Highwoods Properties news, COO Theodore J. Klinck sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.51, for a total transaction of $525,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 63,194 shares in the company, valued at $3,318,316.94. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 1.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HIW. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Highwoods Properties by 4,514.0% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,832,053 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $581,309,000 after purchasing an additional 11,575,615 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in Highwoods Properties by 38.4% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,185,036 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $212,222,000 after purchasing an additional 1,160,930 shares during the last quarter. Credit Agricole S A lifted its position in Highwoods Properties by 1,672.4% during the first quarter. Credit Agricole S A now owns 1,175,091 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $38,387,000 after purchasing an additional 1,108,790 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in Highwoods Properties by 36.8% during the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 3,278,256 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $166,240,000 after purchasing an additional 882,571 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in Highwoods Properties by 4.9% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 16,087,977 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $790,402,000 after purchasing an additional 749,245 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.35% of the company’s stock.

About Highwoods Properties

Highwoods Properties, Inc is an office real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s primary business is the operation, acquisition and development of office properties. The Company’s segments include Office and Other. The Company 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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