Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Piedmont Office Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE:PDM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. is an integrated and self-managed real estate investment trust specializing in the acquisition, ownership, management and development of commercial real estate properties. That includes properties that are under construction, newly constructed, or have operating histories. The Company is primarily focused on high-quality Class A office buildings located in major U.S. markets and leased primarily to high-credit quality tenants. Major markets include: Washington, D.C., greater Los Angeles, the New York metropolitan area, Boston and Chicago. Piedmont conducts business primarily through Piedmont Operating Partnership, LP; a Delaware limited partnership, as well as performing the management of its buildings through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Piedmont Government Services, LLC and Piedmont Office Management, LLC. Piedmont OP owns a majority of its properties directly and a limited number through joint ventures with real estate limited partnerships with other third parties. “

Separately, DA Davidson lifted their price target on shares of Piedmont Office Realty Trust from $22.00 to $23.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $20.67.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust (NYSE:PDM) traded up 0.86% during trading on Friday, hitting $21.02. 160,194 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $3.05 billion, a PE ratio of 14.37 and a beta of 0.56. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $21.39 and its 200 day moving average is $20.85. Piedmont Office Realty Trust has a 52 week low of $16.93 and a 52 week high of $22.28.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust (NYSE:PDM) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.40 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40. Piedmont Office Realty Trust had a net margin of 38.14% and a return on equity of 9.87%. The business earned $135.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $138.87 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.39 earnings per share. Piedmont Office Realty Trust’s quarterly revenue was down 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Piedmont Office Realty Trust will post $1.64 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Investors of record on Friday, August 26th were issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.03%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 24th. Piedmont Office Realty Trust’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 57.93%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd boosted its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 0.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd now owns 7,692 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $156,000 after buying an additional 58 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 2.1% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 7,038 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $152,000 after buying an additional 148 shares during the last quarter. Brookstone Capital Management boosted its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 4.3% in the second quarter. Brookstone Capital Management now owns 10,896 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $235,000 after buying an additional 452 shares during the last quarter. Investors Capital Advisory Services boosted its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 1.1% in the second quarter. Investors Capital Advisory Services now owns 44,591 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $960,000 after buying an additional 490 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Amalgamated Bank boosted its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 3.4% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 17,503 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $374,000 after buying an additional 571 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.34% of the company’s stock.

About Piedmont Office Realty Trust

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc (Piedmont) is an integrated self-managed real estate investment trust specializing in the acquisition, ownership, management, development and disposition of primarily Class A office buildings located in the United States office markets. The Company operates through its real estate assets segment.

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