American Assets Trust, Inc (NYSE:AAT) Sees Significant Drop in Short Interest

American Assets Trust, Inc (NYSE:AAT) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 650,200 shares, a decrease of 8.6% from the December 15th total of 711,400 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 280,600 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.3 days. Currently, 1.3% of the shares of the company are sold short.

Shares of NYSE:AAT traded down $0.40 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $45.69. 840 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 260,357. American Assets Trust has a 1 year low of $40.21 and a 1 year high of $49.26. The company has a market cap of $2.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.86, a PEG ratio of 3.03 and a beta of 0.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 2.90 and a current ratio of 2.90. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $45.89 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $46.72.

American Assets Trust (NYSE:AAT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 29th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.22 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.55 by ($0.33). The firm had revenue of $98.36 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $83.72 million. American Assets Trust had a net margin of 11.29% and a return on equity of 3.77%. As a group, research analysts forecast that American Assets Trust will post 2.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 26th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 12th were issued a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 11th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.63%. This is a positive change from American Assets Trust’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. American Assets Trust’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 57.42%.

In other American Assets Trust news, CFO Robert F. Barton sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.81, for a total value of $1,120,250.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 65,405 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,930,798.05. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 37.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AAT. Point72 Asset Management L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of American Assets Trust in the 2nd quarter worth $47,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. increased its stake in shares of American Assets Trust by 32.9% in the 1st quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 1,211 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $56,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. acquired a new stake in shares of American Assets Trust in the 3rd quarter worth $64,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of American Assets Trust in the 2nd quarter worth $255,000. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of American Assets Trust by 4.4% in the 2nd quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,865 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $276,000 after acquiring an additional 247 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 93.66% of the company’s stock.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded American Assets Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $49.67.

About American Assets Trust

American Assets Trust, Inc (the “company”) is a full service, vertically integrated and self-administered real estate investment trust, or REIT, headquartered in San Diego, California. The company has over 50 years of experience in acquiring, improving, developing and managing premier retail, office and residential properties throughout the United States in some of the nation's most dynamic, high-barrier-to-entry markets primarily in Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Hawaii.

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