Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Liberty Property recently closed the sale of 108 properties in five markets for $969 million. Majority of them were suburban offices and flex non-core assets. In fact, with this sale, its share of total dispositions reached $1.2 billion so far this year. Notably, the company has been concentrating on divesting its non-core assets and using the proceeds for gaining preferred properties across the U.S. The company is also focusing on industrial portfolio expansion. However, the near-term dilution effect of sale of assets on earnings is unavoidable. Moreover, operational risks associated with huge construction pipeline and any rise in interest rates remains as concerns.”
LPT has been the subject of a number of other reports. BTIG Research started coverage on Liberty Property Trust in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company. Morgan Stanley started coverage on Liberty Property Trust in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $38.00 price target for the company. Capital One Financial Corp. raised Liberty Property Trust from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $41.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Citigroup Inc. lifted their price target on Liberty Property Trust from $34.00 to $41.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, July 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Liberty Property Trust currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $37.57.
Shares of Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) opened at 38.59 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.66 billion, a PE ratio of 20.47 and a beta of 0.97. Liberty Property Trust has a 12-month low of $26.94 and a 12-month high of $42.26. The company has a 50-day moving average of $40.42 and a 200 day moving average of $38.11.
Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.04. Liberty Property Trust had a return on equity of 9.36% and a net margin of 35.96%. The business earned $186.65 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $191.42 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.67 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Liberty Property Trust will post $2.35 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.475 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 29th. This represents a $1.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.92%. Liberty Property Trust’s payout ratio is currently 101.06%.
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its position in Liberty Property Trust by 35.9% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,736 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 723 shares during the last quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc OH bought a new position in Liberty Property Trust during the second quarter valued at about $207,000. Baldwin Investment Management LLC bought a new position in Liberty Property Trust during the second quarter valued at about $209,000. Hancock Holding Co. bought a new position in Liberty Property Trust during the second quarter valued at about $225,000. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC bought a new position in Liberty Property Trust during the second quarter valued at about $233,000. Institutional investors own 97.14% of the company’s stock.
About Liberty Property Trust
Liberty Property Trust is a real estate investment trust. The Company’s operations are primarily conducted by its subsidiary, Liberty Property Limited Partnership. Its segments include Carolinas; Chicago/Milwaukee; Houston, Lehigh/Central PA; Minnesota; Orlando; Philadelphia; Richmond/Hampton Roads; Southeastern PA; South Florida; Tampa; United Kingdom, and Other, which includes Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati/Columbus/Indianapolis, Dallas, Maryland, New Jersey, Northern Virginia, Southern California, Washington DC and other segments.