Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE:MAA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities — commonly known as MAA — have underperformed the industry it belongs to, in the past six months. Also, the stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth quarter 2017 funds from operations (FFO) per share being revised downward in a month’s time. Elevated supply in certain regions is anticipated to taper the company’s growth momentum in the near term. Also, higher concentration of its operations in certain markets makes earnings susceptible to the local economic conditions.In addition, stiff competition from other housing alternatives limits the company’s ability to raise rents or increase occupancy. Hike in interest rates remains a concern. Nonetheless, MAA’s solid balance sheet will aid in pursuing additional opportunistic investments in dynamic markets.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Jefferies Group lowered Mid-America Apartment Communities from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Raymond James Financial reissued a market perform rating on shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities in a research note on Wednesday, November 29th. Mizuho reissued a hold rating and issued a $106.00 target price on shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities in a research note on Sunday, October 15th. Robert W. Baird reissued a buy rating and issued a $110.00 target price on shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lowered Mid-America Apartment Communities from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $107.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, November 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $110.50.

Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE:MAA) traded down $0.75 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $91.32. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 856,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 766,656. Mid-America Apartment Communities has a 1 year low of $90.88 and a 1 year high of $110.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $10,376.42, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.34.

Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE:MAA) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The real estate investment trust reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.61. Mid-America Apartment Communities had a return on equity of 4.22% and a net margin of 16.73%. The firm had revenue of $384.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $386.96 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.47 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 38.9% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Mid-America Apartment Communities will post 5.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 31st. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 12th will be given a dividend of $0.9225 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 11th. This represents a $3.69 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.04%. This is a positive change from Mid-America Apartment Communities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.87. Mid-America Apartment Communities’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 166.22%.

In other Mid-America Apartment Communities news, Director William Reid Sanders purchased 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The shares were bought at an average price of $100.11 per share, with a total value of $700,770.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 8,209 shares in the company, valued at approximately $821,802.99. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. In the last ninety days, insiders have bought 7,116 shares of company stock worth $710,687. 1.25% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MAA. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities during the second quarter worth about $158,747,000. Cohen & Steers Inc. raised its position in shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities by 197.0% during the third quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 2,025,767 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $216,514,000 after purchasing an additional 1,343,626 shares during the period. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities by 3,863.2% during the third quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 797,196 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $85,205,000 after purchasing an additional 777,081 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities by 4,202.0% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 565,631 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $59,607,000 after purchasing an additional 552,483 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities by 31.5% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,884,990 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $198,640,000 after purchasing an additional 451,849 shares during the period. 92.78% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Mid-America Apartment Communities

Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc is a multifamily focused, self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company owns, operates, acquires and develops apartment communities primarily located in the Southeast and Southwest regions of the United States. It operates through three segments: Large market same store, Secondary market same store and Non-Same Store and Other.

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