Cousins Properties Inc. (NYSE:CUZ) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Cousins completed the previously announced merger with Parkway Properties Inc. It also spun-off the Houston-based assets of the combined company into a publicly-traded REIT. This move is a strategic fit as it allowed the company to not only boost its portfolio with premium properties, but also exit the Houston office market crippled by the decline in oil prices. But, the company faces intense competition from developers, owners and operators of office properties and other commercial real estate which affects its ability to attract and retain tenants at relatively higher rents than its competitors. Moreover, pressure on top line and any rise in interest rate are concerns before the company.”

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus cut shares of Cousins Properties from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $11.50 to $9.50 in a research note on Thursday, September 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Robert W. Baird lowered shares of Cousins Properties from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $11.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, August 17th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Cousins Properties has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $10.88.

Shares of Cousins Properties (NYSE:CUZ) traded up 0.76% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $7.91. 2,854,009 shares of the company traded hands. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $10.48 and its 200 day moving average is $10.53. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.66 billion, a PE ratio of 11.95 and a beta of 1.14. Cousins Properties has a 52-week low of $7.19 and a 52-week high of $11.40.

Cousins Properties (NYSE:CUZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.01. Cousins Properties had a return on equity of 8.41% and a net margin of 37.51%. The firm earned $92.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $89.52 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.21 earnings per share. Cousins Properties’s quarterly revenue was down 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Cousins Properties will post $0.86 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in CUZ. Aperio Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Cousins Properties by 84.8% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 36,745 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $381,000 after buying an additional 16,866 shares during the period. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Cousins Properties during the first quarter valued at about $138,000. Teachers Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Cousins Properties by 2.6% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 2,029,256 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $21,064,000 after buying an additional 50,900 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Cousins Properties by 8.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 204,291 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $2,120,000 after buying an additional 15,092 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Cousins Properties by 1.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 7,800,366 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $80,968,000 after buying an additional 79,193 shares during the period. 99.72% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Cousins Properties Company Profile

Cousins Properties Incorporated (Cousins) is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company focuses on development, acquisition, leasing and property management. The Company’s investment strategy is to purchase Class A office assets or locate opportunistic development or redevelopment projects in its core markets to which it can add value through relationships, capital, or market expertise.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:CUZ

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