Published On: Thu, Sep 22nd, 2016

EastGroup Properties Inc. (EGP) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

EastGroup Properties Inc. (NYSE:EGP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $81.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 11.63% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “EastGroup Properties is a self-administered real estate investment trust focused on ownership, acquisition and selective development of industrial properties. The company pursues a three-pronged investment strategy that includes: the acquisition of industrial properties at favorable initial yields, with opportunities to improve cash flow performance through management; selective development of industrial properties in markets where they already has a presence and where market conditions justify such investments; and the acquisition of existing public & private companies. “
Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Sandler O’Neill downgraded EastGroup Properties from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 22nd. BTIG Research started coverage on EastGroup Properties in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company. Citigroup Inc. upped their price target on EastGroup Properties from $67.00 to $78.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Stifel Nicolaus cut EastGroup Properties from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of EastGroup Properties in a report on Friday, June 17th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. EastGroup Properties has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.10.

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EastGroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) traded up 2.23% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $72.56. The stock had a trading volume of 199,042 shares. EastGroup Properties has a 12-month low of $49.31 and a 12-month high of $76.00. The company has a 50 day moving average of $72.44 and a 200-day moving average of $66.25. The company has a market cap of $2.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.27 and a beta of 0.97.
EastGroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.99. EastGroup Properties had a return on equity of 15.59% and a net margin of 36.63%. The firm earned $61.92 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $61.53 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.92 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that EastGroup Properties will post $3.99 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Investors of record on Monday, September 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.42%. This is a boost from EastGroup Properties’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 15th. EastGroup Properties’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 90.51%.
In related news, insider Bruce Corkern sold 2,475 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.40, for a total transaction of $176,715.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director H C. Bailey, Jr. sold 1,339 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.30, for a total value of $90,114.70. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 6,459 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $434,690.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.60% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd boosted its stake in EastGroup Properties by 2.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd now owns 1,695 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 40 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in EastGroup Properties by 1.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,206,751 shares of the company’s stock worth $72,852,000 after buying an additional 16,056 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in EastGroup Properties by 2.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 243,405 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,694,000 after buying an additional 5,944 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in EastGroup Properties by 10.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 31,406 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,895,000 after buying an additional 3,033 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its stake in EastGroup Properties by 3.0% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 77,835 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,699,000 after buying an additional 2,290 shares in the last quarter. 94.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
EastGroup Properties Company Profile
EastGroup Properties, Inc is an equity real estate investment trust. The Company is focused on the development, acquisition and operation of industrial properties in various Sunbelt markets across the United States with an emphasis in the states of Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and North Carolina.

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