Duke Realty (DRE) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Duke Realty (NYSE:DRE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Duke Realty’s third-quarter 2018 funds from operations (FFO) per share of 35 cents surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a whisker. While results highlighted overall improved operations, as well as increased investments in new industrial properties, the company also raised its core FFO per share guidance for 2018. Further, it announced a sequential hike in third-quarter 2018 dividends. Notably, the industrial real estate market is currently enjoying elevated demand for logistics infrastructure amid improving economy and e-commerce boom. Given Duke Realty’s solid capacity, the company remains well poised to capitalize on this trend. Further, shares of the company have outperformed its industry over the past six months. However, with rising supply of industrial real estate space, there is lesser scope for robust rent and occupancy growth in the near term. Additionally, rate hike add to its woes.”

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on DRE. Barclays reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Duke Realty in a research note on Sunday, October 14th. ValuEngine raised shares of Duke Realty from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $30.00 price objective on shares of Duke Realty in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Scotiabank assumed coverage on shares of Duke Realty in a research note on Tuesday, October 16th. They set a sector perform rating on the stock. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $30.00 price objective on shares of Duke Realty in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $29.89.

NYSE:DRE opened at $27.57 on Monday. Duke Realty has a 12-month low of $24.30 and a 12-month high of $29.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 2.60 and a quick ratio of 2.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.38 and a beta of 0.57.

Duke Realty (NYSE:DRE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.12 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $196.91 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $197.78 million. Duke Realty had a net margin of 56.94% and a return on equity of 8.01%. Equities analysts predict that Duke Realty will post 1.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 30th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.215 per share. This is a boost from Duke Realty’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $0.86 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.12%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 14th. Duke Realty’s dividend payout ratio is 64.52%.

In other news, EVP Peter D. Harrington sold 16,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.98, for a total transaction of $478,170.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Melanie R. Sabelhaus sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.98, for a total transaction of $69,950.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.24% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in DRE. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Duke Realty in the second quarter worth $121,000. Advisors Preferred LLC acquired a new stake in Duke Realty in the second quarter worth $126,000. Laurion Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in Duke Realty in the second quarter worth $202,000. First Hawaiian Bank acquired a new stake in Duke Realty in the third quarter worth $208,000. Finally, Fiduciary Trust Co. acquired a new stake in Duke Realty in the second quarter worth $210,000. 93.47% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Duke Realty

Duke Realty Corporation owns and operates approximately 150 million rentable square feet of industrial assets in 20 major logistics markets. Duke Realty Corporation is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol DRE and is listed on the S&P 500 Index.

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