Highwoods Properties Inc. (NYSE:HIW) saw a large decrease in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,043,523 shares, a decrease of 34.7% from the October 14th total of 1,597,338 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 611,146 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.7 days. Approximately 1.1% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

In other news, SVP Jeffrey Douglas Miller sold 4,214 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.52, for a total transaction of $221,319.28. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 70,329 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,693,679.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 2.10% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 10.3% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 4,300 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $206,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 9.5% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 769,080 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $36,769,000 after buying an additional 66,558 shares in the last quarter. Prudential PLC purchased a new position in shares of Highwoods Properties during the first quarter worth $215,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 64.0% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 408,200 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $19,516,000 after buying an additional 159,300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 2.2% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 229,034 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $10,948,000 after buying an additional 4,873 shares in the last quarter.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. increased their price objective on Highwoods Properties from $55.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Wood & Company restated a “buy” rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Highwoods Properties in a report on Thursday, August 4th. BTIG Research began coverage on Highwoods Properties in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Highwoods Properties from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 5th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Highwoods Properties from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $53.50 to $55.00 in a report on Thursday, October 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Highwoods Properties currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.11.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) opened at 47.40 on Thursday. Highwoods Properties has a 1-year low of $38.08 and a 1-year high of $56.23. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $49.37 and a 200-day moving average of $50.81. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.14 and a beta of 0.92.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.81 by $0.01. Highwoods Properties had a net margin of 78.81% and a return on equity of 4.97%. The firm earned $166.30 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $169.05 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.77 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Highwoods Properties will post $3.27 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.425 per share. This represents a $1.70 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.59%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 9th. Highwoods Properties’s dividend payout ratio is presently 31.84%.

About Highwoods Properties

Highwoods Properties, Inc is a real estate investment trust. The Company provides leasing, management, development, construction and other customer-related services for its properties and for third-parties. The Company is engaged in the business of operation, acquisition and development of real estate properties.

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