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

According to Zacks, “Cousins Properties is facing a pressure on top line growth. In fact, during the third quarter, rental property revenues were down 3.5% year over year. Although funds from operations (FFO) per share was in line with expectations in the quarter, the figure was 8.3% below the year ago period tally. Notably, in October, the company closed the merger with Parkway Properties and 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, in addition to the top line pressure, hike in interest rate remain its concern. Also, tough competition in the industry affects its ability to attract and retain tenants at relatively higher rents than its competitors.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Robert W. Baird cut Cousins Properties from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $11.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, August 17th. Stifel Nicolaus cut Cousins Properties from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and cut their target price for the company from $11.50 to $9.50 in a research note on Thursday, September 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

Shares of Cousins Properties (NYSE:CUZ) traded up 1.52% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $8.04. 1,137,768 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $7.85 and its 200-day moving average is $9.93. The company has a market capitalization of $3.16 billion, a PE ratio of 17.33 and a beta of 1.15. Cousins Properties has a 52-week low of $7.09 and a 52-week high of $11.40.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of CUZ. Societe Generale bought a new stake in shares of Cousins Properties during the second quarter worth $102,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its stake in shares of Cousins Properties by 16,922.4% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 9,873 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 9,815 shares in the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc bought a new stake in shares of Cousins Properties during the second quarter worth $105,000. Paragon Capital Management Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Cousins Properties during the third quarter worth $108,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in shares of Cousins Properties by 10.0% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 10,653 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 966 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.99% of the company’s stock.

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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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