Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Estimates for funds from operations (FFO) per share have been stable over the past seven days, following Liberty Property’s third-quarter earnings release. Though the company’s third-quarter FFO per share narrowly missed expectations, going forward, it is expected to benefit from its solid portfolio of metro-office, multi-tenant industrial and flex properties, divestiture of non-core assets, decent balance sheet and rising demand for quality industrial spaces. Notably, following the end of the quarter, Liberty accomplished the sale of a portfolio of suburban office and flex assets for $969 million. The move comes as part of the company’s strategy of shedding its non-core suburban properties. However, earnings dilutive effects of divestiture, operational risks associated with huge construction pipeline and any rise in interest rates remain concerns.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on the company. Morgan Stanley started coverage on Liberty Property Trust in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $38.00 target price on the stock. BTIG Research started coverage on Liberty Property Trust in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Liberty Property Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the company from $40.00 to $44.00 in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Capital One Financial Corp. upgraded Liberty Property Trust from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $41.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 4th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $38.38.

Analyst Recommendations for Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT)

Shares of Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) opened at 37.99 on Monday. Liberty Property Trust has a 52-week low of $26.94 and a 52-week high of $42.26. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $39.53 and its 200 day moving average is $39.11. The company has a market cap of $5.58 billion, a PE ratio of 23.14 and a beta of 0.97.

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 25th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.66. Liberty Property Trust had a net margin of 31.51% and a return on equity of 8.17%. The firm had revenue of $190.86 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $188.30 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.67 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Liberty Property Trust will post $2.36 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 17th. Investors of record on Monday, October 3rd were paid a $0.475 dividend. This represents a $1.90 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 29th. Liberty Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio is currently 115.85%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LPT. Eqis Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in Liberty Property Trust during the second quarter valued at approximately $608,000. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its position in Liberty Property Trust by 6.5% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 12,687 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $504,000 after buying an additional 770 shares in the last quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp increased its position in Liberty Property Trust by 64.1% in the second quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 92,846 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $3,688,000 after buying an additional 36,260 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in Liberty Property Trust by 221.9% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 86,897 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $3,452,000 after buying an additional 59,903 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Heitman Real Estate Securities LLC purchased a new position in Liberty Property Trust during the first quarter valued at approximately $78,144,000. 95.36% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Liberty Property Trust Company Profile

Liberty Property Trust is a real estate investment trust. The Company’s operations are primarily conducted by its subsidiary, Liberty Property Limited Partnership. Its segments include Carolinas; Chicago/Milwaukee; Houston, Lehigh/Central PA; Minnesota; Orlando; Philadelphia; Richmond/Hampton Roads; Southeastern PA; South Florida; Tampa; United Kingdom, and Other, which includes Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati/Columbus/Indianapolis, Dallas, Maryland, New Jersey, Northern Virginia, Southern California, Washington DC and other segments.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:LPT

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