Zacks Investment Research Lowers Highwoods Properties (HIW) to Sell

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Highwoods have underperformed its industry in the past three months. Further, the stock witnessed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 funds from operations (FFO) per share being revised downward in a week’s time. Notably, significant exposure to office assets amid rising supply as well as persistent space efficiency trends and stiff competition are concerns. Moreover, the company’s assets are concentrated in a few markets that make it vulnerable to the economic and political doldrums in these areas. Rate hikes add to its woes. Nevertheless, the company’s better-than-expected FFO per share for fourth-quarter 2017 indicate growth in same-property net operating income (NOI) and strong leasing metrics. Also, the company’s efforts to fortify its high-quality office asset portfolio in best business districts (BBDs) have the capablity to drive long-term growth.”

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on HIW. Stifel Nicolaus reduced their price target on Highwoods Properties from $55.00 to $50.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, February 8th. ValuEngine downgraded Highwoods Properties from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. SunTrust Banks set a $51.00 price target on Highwoods Properties and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, Edward Jones downgraded Highwoods Properties from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Highwoods Properties presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.50.

Shares of Highwoods Properties (HIW) remained flat at $$43.09 during trading hours on Tuesday. 1,003,188 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 770,343. Highwoods Properties has a fifty-two week low of $41.83 and a fifty-two week high of $53.34. The company has a market cap of $4,513.52, a PE ratio of 24.23, a P/E/G ratio of 4.30 and a beta of 0.74. The company has a current ratio of 1.40, a quick ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91.

In other Highwoods Properties news, Director Sherry A. Kellett sold 2,000 shares of Highwoods Properties stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.64, for a total transaction of $101,280.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 13,744 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $695,996.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Sherry A. Kellett sold 1,000 shares of Highwoods Properties stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.70, for a total value of $51,700.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 11,744 shares in the company, valued at $607,164.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of HIW. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in Highwoods Properties by 9.9% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 253,200 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $12,840,000 after acquiring an additional 22,800 shares in the last quarter. Tudor Investment Corp ET AL bought a new stake in shares of Highwoods Properties in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $207,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new stake in shares of Highwoods Properties in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $295,000. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,340,884 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $220,127,000 after purchasing an additional 12,891 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Highwoods Properties in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $311,000. 96.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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