Sun Communities Inc. (NYSE:SUI) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 1,758,243 shares, an increase of 77.5% from the September 15th total of 990,646 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 504,025 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.5 days. Approximately 3.0% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

SUI has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Citigroup Inc. boosted their target price on Sun Communities from $70.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised Sun Communities from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $87.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. TheStreet downgraded Sun Communities from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 26th. BMO Capital Markets raised Sun Communities from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $85.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, September 16th. Finally, Evercore ISI initiated coverage on Sun Communities in a research note on Friday. They set a “buy” rating and a $85.00 target price for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $83.40.

Sun Communities (NYSE:SUI) opened at 78.70 on Tuesday. Sun Communities has a 1-year low of $61.65 and a 1-year high of $85.98. The firm has a market cap of $5.40 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.27 and a beta of 0.52. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $77.69 and a 200 day moving average price of $74.26.

Sun Communities (NYSE:SUI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.03. The company earned $140 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $165.78 million. Sun Communities had a return on equity of 8.30% and a net margin of 19.60%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 15.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.87 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Sun Communities will post $3.76 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 30th were paid a dividend of $0.65 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 28th. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.30%. Sun Communities’s payout ratio is 122.64%.

In related news, Director Clunet R. Lewis sold 1,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.16, for a total value of $140,688.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 18,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,438,144. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 5.14% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SUI. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. increased its position in Sun Communities by 114.7% in the third quarter. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. now owns 437,550 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $34,338,000 after buying an additional 233,800 shares during the last quarter. MSI Financial Services Inc increased its position in shares of Sun Communities by 45.2% in the third quarter. MSI Financial Services Inc now owns 5,338 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $419,000 after buying an additional 1,661 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in shares of Sun Communities by 0.9% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 9,467 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $743,000 after buying an additional 81 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of Sun Communities by 20.2% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 12,500 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $958,000 after buying an additional 2,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CAPROCK Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Sun Communities by 17.4% in the second quarter. CAPROCK Group Inc. now owns 4,042 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $310,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 93.27% of the company’s stock.

About Sun Communities

Sun Communities, Inc (SHS) is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company operates in two segments: Real Property Operations, and Home Sales and Rentals. The Real Property Operations segment owns, operates and develops manufactured housing (MH) and recreational vehicle (RV) throughout the United States and is in the business of acquiring, operating and expanding MH and RV communities.

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