Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Highwoods Properties Inc. (NYSE:HIW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Highwoods recently announced the acquisition of the office property – Charter Square – in CBD Raleigh, which is in sync with its strategy of expansion in the BBDs (best business districts). The company also announced signing of a long-term build-to-suit lease with Virginia Urology. Together with this development project, the company currently boasts of a development pipeline of 1.7 million square feet. Investment for this pipeline is around $520 million. The company's funds from operations (FFO) per share estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s Q3 earnings release. Going forward, a robust balance sheet, diversified portfolio with several top-notch tenants, presence of high-quality office assets in BBDs of the core markets, bode well for the company’s growth. Yet, a high exposure to office assets and any hike in interest rate remain as concerns.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Wood & Company reiterated a buy rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of Highwoods Properties in a report on Thursday, August 4th. BTIG Research started coverage on shares of Highwoods Properties in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a neutral rating for the company. SunTrust Banks Inc. upped their price objective on shares of Highwoods Properties from $48.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, July 15th. Citigroup Inc. upped their price objective on shares of Highwoods Properties from $47.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. upped their price objective on shares of Highwoods Properties from $55.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Highwoods Properties currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $53.20.

Analyst Recommendations for Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW)

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) traded up 0.63% during trading on Friday, reaching $49.36. The company had a trading volume of 64,166 shares. The stock has a market cap of $4.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.22 and a beta of 0.89. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $51.96 and a 200 day moving average price of $50.46. Highwoods Properties has a 12-month low of $38.08 and a 12-month high of $56.23.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.02. The firm earned $166.86 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $164.24 million. Highwoods Properties had a net margin of 78.77% and a return on equity of 5.22%. Highwoods Properties’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.77 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Highwoods Properties will post $3.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, SVP Jeffrey Douglas Miller sold 4,214 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.52, for a total transaction of $221,319.28. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 70,329 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,693,679.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 2.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC boosted its stake in Highwoods Properties by 1.4% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 16,816 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $888,000 after buying an additional 236 shares during the period. Mason Street Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Highwoods Properties during the second quarter valued at approximately $2,345,000. Cohen & Steers Inc. boosted its stake in Highwoods Properties by 17.3% in the second quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 3,596,451 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $189,893,000 after buying an additional 529,393 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its stake in Highwoods Properties by 33.1% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 145,443 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $7,679,000 after buying an additional 36,170 shares during the period. Finally, Amalgamated Bank boosted its stake in Highwoods Properties by 23.7% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 13,028 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $699,000 after buying an additional 2,493 shares during the period.

Highwoods Properties Company Profile

Highwoods Properties, Inc is a real estate investment trust. The Company provides leasing, management, development, construction and other customer-related services for its properties and for third-parties. The Company is engaged in the business of operation, acquisition and development of real estate properties.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:HIW

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