Eastgroup Properties (EGP) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Eastgroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “EastGroup Properties is a self-administered real estate investment trust focused on ownership, acquisition and selective development of industrial properties. The company pursues a three-pronged investment strategy that includes: the acquisition of industrial properties at favorable initial yields, with opportunities to improve cash flow performance through management; selective development of industrial properties in markets where they already has a presence and where market conditions justify such investments; and the acquisition of existing public & private companies. “

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on EGP. SunTrust Banks set a $92.00 price target on shares of Eastgroup Properties and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Eastgroup Properties from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Citigroup upped their price target on shares of Eastgroup Properties from $90.00 to $94.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, October 30th. Jefferies Financial Group started coverage on shares of Eastgroup Properties in a report on Friday, November 30th. They issued a hold rating and a $99.00 price target for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Eastgroup Properties from $90.00 to $97.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Monday, December 17th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Eastgroup Properties currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $98.32.

Eastgroup Properties stock opened at $94.98 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $3.37 billion, a PE ratio of 22.30, a P/E/G ratio of 3.70 and a beta of 0.74. Eastgroup Properties has a twelve month low of $77.74 and a twelve month high of $102.05.

Eastgroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.64 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $75.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $74.65 million. Eastgroup Properties had a net margin of 29.80% and a return on equity of 10.69%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.08 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts expect that Eastgroup Properties will post 4.67 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Investors of record on Monday, December 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.72 per share. This represents a $2.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.03%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 28th. Eastgroup Properties’s payout ratio is 67.61%.

In related news, EVP John F. Coleman sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.57, for a total transaction of $995,700.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director H C. Bailey, Jr. sold 264 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.01, for a total transaction of $25,610.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 16,264 shares of company stock valued at $1,621,011 in the last 90 days. 2.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in Eastgroup Properties by 26.4% during the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 564,988 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $54,024,000 after purchasing an additional 118,132 shares during the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new stake in Eastgroup Properties during the second quarter worth $245,000. Panagora Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Eastgroup Properties by 1.6% during the third quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 87,241 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $8,342,000 after acquiring an additional 1,391 shares in the last quarter. Honeywell International Inc. bought a new stake in Eastgroup Properties during the third quarter worth $1,851,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc raised its position in Eastgroup Properties by 2.2% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 5,502,403 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $526,140,000 after acquiring an additional 116,567 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.59% of the company’s stock.

About Eastgroup Properties

EastGroup Properties, Inc is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust focused on the development, acquisition and operation of industrial properties in major Sunbelt markets throughout the United States with an emphasis in the states of Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and North Carolina.

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