Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Weingarten Realty Investors is focused on delivering solid returns to shareholders by actively developing, acquiring, and intensively managing properties in twenty one states that span the southern portion of the United States from coast to coast. Weingarten’s business activities encompass the long-term ownership, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of strategically located neighborhood and community shopping centers and select industrial properties. The vast majority of our shopping centers are anchored by either a supermarket or a national value-oriented retailer. These anchors combined with convenient locations, attractive and well-maintained properties and a strong tenant mix help to ensure the long-term success of our merchants and the viability of our portfolio. The Company’s portfolio of Thirf caproperties includes thirty neighborhood and community shopping centers and sixty four industrial properties, aggregating fourty million square feet. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Weingarten Realty Investors in a report on Wednesday, November 9th. Citigroup Inc. increased their price target on shares of Weingarten Realty Investors from $40.00 to $42.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, August 12th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood upgraded shares of Weingarten Realty Investors from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 18th.

Shares of Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) opened at 35.90 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $37.09 and its 200-day moving average is $39.21. The company has a market cap of $4.60 billion, a PE ratio of 18.73 and a beta of 0.84. Weingarten Realty Investors has a one year low of $31.89 and a one year high of $43.70.

Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58. Weingarten Realty Investors had a net margin of 45.71% and a return on equity of 14.82%. The firm had revenue of $129.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $134.50 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.56 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Weingarten Realty Investors will post $2.30 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 8th will be issued a $0.365 dividend. This represents a $1.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 6th. Weingarten Realty Investors’s dividend payout ratio is currently 76.44%.

In other Weingarten Realty Investors news, CEO Andrew M. Alexander sold 34,366 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of C$41.76, for a total value of C$1,435,124.16. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,024,664 shares in the company, valued at C$42,789,968.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Andrew M. Alexander sold 55,597 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of C$41.67, for a total transaction of C$2,316,726.99. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,102,871 shares in the company, valued at C$45,956,634.57. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 8.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Panagora Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Weingarten Realty Investors by 13.1% in the third quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 361,805 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $14,103,000 after buying an additional 41,865 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors increased its stake in shares of Weingarten Realty Investors by 1,410.8% in the third quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 800,000 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $31,184,000 after buying an additional 747,048 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company purchased a new stake in shares of Weingarten Realty Investors during the third quarter valued at approximately $6,296,000. UBS Group AG increased its stake in shares of Weingarten Realty Investors by 30.5% in the third quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 105,390 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $4,109,000 after buying an additional 24,607 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Two Sigma Advisers LP increased its stake in shares of Weingarten Realty Investors by 285.8% in the third quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 40,572 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,581,000 after buying an additional 30,055 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.24% of the company’s stock.

About Weingarten Realty Investors

Weingarten Realty Investors is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s primary business is leasing space to tenants in the shopping centers it owns or leases. It is engaged in the business of owning, managing and developing retail shopping centers. Its properties consist primarily of neighborhood and community shopping centers.

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