Investment analysts at Janney Montgomery Scott assumed coverage on shares of Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HIW) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The firm set a “neutral” rating on the real estate investment trust’s stock.

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on HIW. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Highwoods Properties from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Highwoods Properties from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Highwoods Properties has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $55.00.

Highwoods Properties (HIW) traded down 0.48% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $51.79. 35,047 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a market cap of $5.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 41.30 and a beta of 0.88. Highwoods Properties has a 12 month low of $45.83 and a 12 month high of $53.26. The company’s 50 day moving average is $51.06 and its 200 day moving average is $50.83.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.59. Highwoods Properties had a net margin of 18.79% and a return on equity of 5.96%. The firm had revenue of $177.28 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $172.28 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.32 earnings per share. Highwoods Properties’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Highwoods Properties will post $1.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Highwoods Properties news, COO Theodore J. Klinck sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.51, for a total transaction of $525,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 63,194 shares in the company, valued at $3,318,316.94. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 1.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC lifted its position in Highwoods Properties by 3.7% during the second quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 1,898,603 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $96,278,000 after purchasing an additional 68,509 shares during the last quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Highwoods Properties in the second quarter valued at $408,000. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Highwoods Properties in the second quarter valued at $401,000. Verition Fund Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Highwoods Properties by 45.4% in the second quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 8,891 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $451,000 after acquiring an additional 2,775 shares during the period. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its stake in shares of Highwoods Properties by 1.1% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 30,530 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,548,000 after acquiring an additional 323 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.35% of the company’s stock.

Highwoods Properties Company Profile

Highwoods Properties, Inc is an office real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s primary business is the operation, acquisition and development of office properties. The Company’s segments include Office and Other. The Company owns, develops, acquires, leases and manages properties primarily in the best business districts (BBDs) of Atlanta, Greensboro, Memphis, Nashville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Richmond and Tampa.

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