Liberty Property Trust (LPT) Raised to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Liberty Property have outperformed its industry over the past three months. Moreover, the recent trend in estimate revisions for 2018 funds from operations (FFO) per share indicates a favorable outlook for the company. Leveraging on the strong fundamentals of industrial real estate market, the company is focusing to expand its industrial portfolio through strategic acquisitions and development. Also, it is disposing non-core office properties to pursue such expansion opportunities. However, large scale dispositions will likely have a dilutive impact on the company’s earnings in the near term. Rate hike and protectionist trade policies add to its woes.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Liberty Property Trust from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 26th. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group cut their price objective on shares of Liberty Property Trust from $49.00 to $47.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Liberty Property Trust currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $44.83.

NYSE:LPT opened at $43.96 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.54, a current ratio of 1.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94. Liberty Property Trust has a 12 month low of $37.77 and a 12 month high of $46.91. The company has a market capitalization of $6.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.97, a P/E/G ratio of 2.77 and a beta of 0.64.

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The real estate investment trust reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.36. Liberty Property Trust had a net margin of 59.89% and a return on equity of 6.68%. The business had revenue of $121.51 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $119.79 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.66 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 6.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Liberty Property Trust will post 2.65 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 31st. Liberty Property Trust’s payout ratio is 61.78%.

In other news, CAO Mary Beth Morrissey sold 6,843 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.52, for a total transaction of $311,493.36. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 73,778 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,358,374.56. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Liberty Property Trust by 723.5% in the 3rd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,788 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $160,000 after buying an additional 3,328 shares during the period. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd bought a new position in Liberty Property Trust in the 2nd quarter worth $168,000. Nordea Investment Management AB bought a new position in Liberty Property Trust in the 3rd quarter worth $161,000. US Bancorp DE boosted its holdings in Liberty Property Trust by 108.5% in the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 4,363 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $193,000 after buying an additional 2,270 shares during the period. Finally, First Hawaiian Bank bought a new position in Liberty Property Trust in the 3rd quarter worth $193,000. 91.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Liberty Property Trust Company Profile

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) is a leader in commercial real estate, serving customers in the United States and United Kingdom, through the development, acquisition, ownership and management of industrial and office properties. Liberty's 103.5 million square foot operating portfolio provides productive work environments for 1,200 tenants.

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