Corrections Corp. of America (NYSE:CXW) was upgraded by equities researchers at SunTrust Banks Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $20.00 price target on the real estate investment trust’s stock. SunTrust Banks Inc.’s price objective points to a potential upside of 49.25% from the stock’s previous close.

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Corrections Corp. of America from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Corrections Corp. of America in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Wells Fargo & Co. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Corrections Corp. of America in a report on Sunday, August 21st. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Corrections Corp. of America from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $26.00.

Shares of Corrections Corp. of America (NYSE:CXW) opened at 13.40 on Wednesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $15.56 and a 200-day moving average of $27.74. The stock has a market cap of $1.57 billion, a PE ratio of 7.79 and a beta of 0.64. Corrections Corp. of America has a 52 week low of $13.04 and a 52 week high of $35.05.

Corrections Corp. of America (NYSE:CXW) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.69 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.04. The business earned $463.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $462.68 million. Corrections Corp. of America had a net margin of 11.17% and a return on equity of 14.16%. The firm’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.73 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Corrections Corp. of America will post $2.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 29th. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 16.12%. Corrections Corp. of America’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 125.58%.

In related news, Director Mark A. Emkes acquired 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 18th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $17.19 per share, for a total transaction of $171,900.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 20,755 shares in the company, valued at approximately $356,778.45. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Charles L. Overby bought 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $19.85 per share, for a total transaction of $99,250.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 33,788 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $670,691.80. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of CXW. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Corrections Corp. of America by 3.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,891,969 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $626,576,000 after buying an additional 534,372 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Corrections Corp. of America by 4.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,633,312 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $162,259,000 after buying an additional 196,228 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Corrections Corp. of America by 2.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 4,051,245 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $141,875,000 after buying an additional 109,091 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Corrections Corp. of America by 1.0% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,203,766 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $112,197,000 after buying an additional 32,259 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Anchor Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Corrections Corp. of America by 19.4% in the second quarter. Anchor Capital Advisors LLC now owns 1,991,156 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $69,730,000 after buying an additional 323,851 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.94% of the company’s stock.

About Corrections Corp. of America

Corrections Corporation of America is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is engaged in owning, operating and managing prisons and other correctional facilities, and providing residential, community re-entry, and prisoner transportation services for governmental agencies. The Company’s facilities offer a range of rehabilitation and educational programs, including basic education, faith-based services, life skills and employment training, and substance abuse treatment.

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