Liberty Property Trust (LPT) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday. They currently have $48.00 target price on the real estate investment trust’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Liberty Property have outperformed the industry it belongs to, year to date. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year funds from operations (FFO) per share remained unchanged in a month’s time. The company’s premium quality industrial properties located in strategic locations will enable it to capitalize from the increasing demand amid an e-commerce boom and a healthy manufacturing environment. Also, it is poised for growth as fundamentals of the industrial real estate market remain robust, resulting in solid rent growth, enhanced occupancy and development opportunities. Notably, the company’s industrial portfolio was 95.9% leased at the end of second-quarter 2017, reflecting strong demand for space. However, adverse near-term impact on earnings from dispositions and rise in interest rates remain concerns.”

LPT has been the subject of several other reports. KeyCorp reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Liberty Property Trust in a research report on Friday, August 25th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a buy rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Liberty Property Trust in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Liberty Property Trust from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $43.60.

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) opened at 42.90 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $6.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.35 and a beta of 0.88. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $42.03 and its 200 day moving average is $40.88. Liberty Property Trust has a 52-week low of $36.22 and a 52-week high of $43.70.

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $183.13 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $175.60 million. Liberty Property Trust had a return on equity of 11.37% and a net margin of 47.24%. Liberty Property Trust’s quarterly revenue was down 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.68 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Liberty Property Trust will post $1.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 29th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.73%. Liberty Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio is currently 68.38%.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. State Treasurer State of Michigan raised its stake in Liberty Property Trust by 1.7% during the second quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 60,700 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,471,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Liberty Property Trust by 3.5% during the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 38,400 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,563,000 after acquiring an additional 1,300 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in Liberty Property Trust by 21.0% during the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 3,736,798 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $152,125,000 after acquiring an additional 649,069 shares in the last quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. raised its stake in Liberty Property Trust by 12.1% during the second quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 7,881 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $320,000 after acquiring an additional 848 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sei Investments Co. raised its stake in Liberty Property Trust by 7.7% during the second quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 35,644 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,451,000 after acquiring an additional 2,538 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.67% of the company’s stock.

Liberty Property Trust Company Profile

Liberty Property Trust (the Trust) is a self-administered and self-managed Maryland real estate investment trust (REIT). The Trust’s assets are owned directly or indirectly, and substantially all of the Trust’s operations are conducted directly or indirectly, by its subsidiary, Liberty Property Limited Partnership (the Operating Partnership).

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Analyst Recommendations for Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT)

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