istar (NYSE:STAR) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of istar (NYSE:STAR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $15.00 price objective on the real estate investment trust’s stock.

According to Zacks, “iStar Financial Inc. is the leading publicly traded finance company focused on the commercial real estate industry. The company, which is taxed as a real estate investment trust, provides structured mortgage, mezzanine and lease financing through its origination, acquisition and servicing platform. The company’s mission is to maximize risk-adjusted returns on equity by providing innovative and value-added financing solutions to private and corporate owners of real estate nationwide. (PRESS RELEASE) “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on STAR. Raymond James boosted their target price on shares of istar from $12.50 to $17.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, August 2nd. ValuEngine downgraded shares of istar from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of istar from a d+ rating to a c rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $14.50.

NYSE:STAR opened at $12.75 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $12.85 and a 200-day simple moving average of $11.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.35, a current ratio of 3.59 and a quick ratio of 3.59. The firm has a market cap of $791.38 million, a PE ratio of 4.92 and a beta of 0.67. istar has a 1-year low of $7.84 and a 1-year high of $13.75.

istar (NYSE:STAR) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The real estate investment trust reported $4.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.30) by $4.85. istar had a net margin of 52.01% and a return on equity of 22.16%. The firm had revenue of $98.47 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $97.50 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.55 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that istar will post 3.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other istar news, insider Marcos Alvarado acquired 10,077 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 16th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $12.95 per share, for a total transaction of $130,497.15. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now directly owns 12,577 shares in the company, valued at $162,872.15. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Istar Inc. acquired 7,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 11th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $34.56 per share, with a total value of $259,200.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now owns 27,204,023 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $940,171,034.88. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders purchased 308,671 shares of company stock valued at $8,475,485. 5.24% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in STAR. Gradient Investments LLC purchased a new stake in istar during the third quarter worth approximately $29,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its stake in istar by 94.0% during the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 3,270 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $41,000 after buying an additional 1,584 shares during the period. Versant Capital Management Inc grew its stake in istar by 3,459.8% during the second quarter. Versant Capital Management Inc now owns 3,631 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $45,000 after buying an additional 3,529 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can grew its stake in istar by 870.1% during the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 5,743 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $71,000 after buying an additional 5,151 shares during the period. Finally, Anderson Fisher LLC purchased a new stake in istar during the second quarter worth approximately $82,000. Institutional investors own 90.35% of the company’s stock.

istar Company Profile

iStar (NYSE: STAR) finances, invests in and develops real estate and real estate related projects as part of its fully-integrated investment platform. Building on over two decades of experience and $40 billion of transactions, iStar brings uncommon capabilities and new ways of thinking to commercial real estate and adapts its investment strategy to changing market conditions.

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