EastGroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “EastGroup Properties is a self-administered real estate investment trust focused on ownership, acquisition and selective development of industrial properties. The company pursues a three-pronged investment strategy that includes: the acquisition of industrial properties at favorable initial yields, with opportunities to improve cash flow performance through management; selective development of industrial properties in markets where they already has a presence and where market conditions justify such investments; and the acquisition of existing public & private companies. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on EGP. Mizuho increased their price target on EastGroup Properties from $138.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, November 16th. BidaskClub lowered shares of EastGroup Properties from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 7th. Finally, Robert W. Baird began coverage on shares of EastGroup Properties in a research note on Tuesday, September 22nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $140.00 price target for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $135.78.

Shares of NYSE EGP opened at $135.24 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $5.35 billion, a PE ratio of 43.63, a P/E/G ratio of 3.99 and a beta of 0.73. EastGroup Properties has a twelve month low of $83.40 and a twelve month high of $153.26. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $135.97 and a 200 day simple moving average of $133.20.

EastGroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.33 by ($0.71). EastGroup Properties had a return on equity of 9.94% and a net margin of 33.84%. As a group, analysts anticipate that EastGroup Properties will post 5.36 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, EVP John F. Coleman sold 3,233 shares of EastGroup Properties stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.27, for a total transaction of $440,560.91. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 94,686 shares in the company, valued at $12,902,861.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 2.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of EGP. First Trust Advisors LP grew its holdings in EastGroup Properties by 296.1% during the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 27,179 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $3,034,000 after buying an additional 20,317 shares in the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp grew its stake in shares of EastGroup Properties by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 23,473 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,785,000 after acquiring an additional 339 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE grew its stake in shares of EastGroup Properties by 31.7% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 313,728 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $37,211,000 after acquiring an additional 75,493 shares in the last quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of EastGroup Properties in the second quarter valued at about $60,000. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC lifted its position in shares of EastGroup Properties by 336.3% during the second quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 8,888 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,054,000 after purchasing an additional 6,851 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 83.14% of the company’s stock.

About EastGroup Properties

EastGroup Properties, Inc (NYSE: EGP), an S&P MidCap 400 company, is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust focused on the development, acquisition and operation of industrial properties in major Sunbelt markets throughout the United States with an emphasis in the states of Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and North Carolina.

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