Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Whitestone REIT is a fully integrated real estate investment trust that acquires, owns, manages, develops and redevelops high quality internet-resistant neighborhood, community and lifestyle retail centers. Whitestone’s properties are principally located in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Phoenix, which are among the fastest-growing markets in the country with highly educated workforces, high household incomes and strong job growth. The Company’s strategy is to target shifting consumer behavior and purchasing patterns by creating a complementary mix of grocery, dining, health and wellness, education, services, entertainment and specialty retail in its properties. Whitestone’s national, regional and local tenants provide daily necessities, needed services and convenience to the community which are not readily available online. Whitestone is headquartered in Houston, Texas. “

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Whitestone REIT from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. ValuEngine cut shares of Whitestone REIT from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Whitestone REIT in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $14.67.

Whitestone REIT (NYSE WSR) traded up $0.08 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $14.56. 332,800 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 409,384. The stock has a market cap of $557.29, a PE ratio of 11.14 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a current ratio of 0.82 and a quick ratio of 0.82. Whitestone REIT has a 12-month low of $10.80 and a 12-month high of $14.78.

Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The real estate investment trust reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.26 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $33.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.78 million. Whitestone REIT had a net margin of 5.77% and a return on equity of 2.22%. Whitestone REIT’s revenue for the quarter was up 32.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.33 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Whitestone REIT will post 1.02 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, Director Paul T. Lambert bought 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $12.29 per share, for a total transaction of $36,870.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 51,918 shares in the company, valued at approximately $638,072.22. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 5.29% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Whitestone REIT by 2.9% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,371,850 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $46,666,000 after acquiring an additional 93,822 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in Whitestone REIT by 2.3% in the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 216,182 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,992,000 after purchasing an additional 4,959 shares during the last quarter. Chilton Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Whitestone REIT in the 2nd quarter worth about $6,727,000. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. grew its position in Whitestone REIT by 10.3% in the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 83,262 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,020,000 after purchasing an additional 7,800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. grew its position in Whitestone REIT by 17.0% in the 1st quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 34,696 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $480,000 after purchasing an additional 5,033 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.89% of the company’s stock.

About Whitestone REIT

Whitestone REIT is a real estate investment trust. The Company is engaged in owning and operating commercial properties in culturally diverse markets in various metropolitan areas. The Company’s acquisition targets are located in densely populated, culturally diverse neighborhoods, primarily in and around Austin, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix and San Antonio.

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