Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Ventas underperformed the Zacks categorized REIT and Equity Trust – Other industry over the past six months. Moreover, over the past seven days, its 2017 estimates for funds from operations (FFO) per share remained flat. Recently, the company acquired a high-quality life science, research and medical campus in Providence, Rhode Island from affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII L.P. This acquisition not only enhanced Ventas’ portfolio but also strengthened its partnerships with top research universities. However, hike in the interest rate is a concern for the company, particularly considering its substantial exposure to long-term leased assets. Also, a large portion of Ventas’ revenues originate from a few tenants, which exposes it to concentration risks.  Further, the earnings dilutive impact of dispositions and stiff competition are concerns for the company.”

A number of other research firms also recently commented on VTR. Jefferies Group LLC downgraded Ventas from a buy rating to a hold rating and dropped their price target for the company from $75.00 to $65.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 3rd. Evercore ISI downgraded Ventas from a hold rating to an underperform rating in a research note on Friday, March 3rd. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a sell rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Ventas in a research note on Monday, March 13th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. assumed coverage on Ventas in a research note on Tuesday, March 21st. They issued a hold rating and a $64.00 price target for the company. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc cut Ventas from a neutral rating to a sell rating and set a $56.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, March 15th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and ten have given a hold rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $63.78.

Ventas (NYSE:VTR) traded down 0.26% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $65.78. 1,646,057 shares of the company were exchanged. Ventas has a one year low of $56.20 and a one year high of $76.80. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $63.41 and its 200-day moving average is $63.03. The firm has a market cap of $23.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.42 and a beta of 0.08.

Ventas (NYSE:VTR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 10th. The real estate investment trust reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.01. The business earned $875.71 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $843.40 million. Ventas had a return on equity of 6.42% and a net margin of 18.85%. Ventas’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.37 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Ventas will post $1.70 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 31st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 7th were issued a dividend of $0.775 per share. This represents a $3.10 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 3rd. Ventas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 166.67%.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. William Harris Investors Inc. raised its position in Ventas by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. William Harris Investors Inc. now owns 4,727 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $295,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Capital Innovations LLC raised its position in Ventas by 0.4% in the third quarter. Capital Innovations LLC now owns 5,686 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $402,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan raised its position in Ventas by 0.3% in the third quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 10,700 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $756,000 after buying an additional 30 shares in the last quarter. Newman Dignan & Sheerar Inc. raised its position in Ventas by 0.3% in the third quarter. Newman Dignan & Sheerar Inc. now owns 12,621 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $891,000 after buying an additional 33 shares in the last quarter. Finally, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale raised its position in Ventas by 0.4% in the third quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 12,116 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $866,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. 91.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Ventas Company Profile

Ventas, Inc is a real estate investment trust (REIT) with its properties located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: triple-net leased properties, senior living operations and office operations. Under its triple-net leased properties segment, the Company invests in and owns seniors housing and healthcare properties throughout the United States and the United Kingdom and leases those properties to healthcare operating companies under triple-net or absolute-net leases that obligate the tenants to pay all property-related expenses.

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