Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate (NYSE:ACRE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation is a specialty finance company focused on originating, investing in and managing middle-market commercial real estate loans and other commercial real estate investments. The Company’s financing solutions are comprised of its target investments, which include the following: Transitional senior mortgage loans, Stretch senior mortgage loans, Subordinate debt mortgage loans and Other CRE debt and preferred equity investments. Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation is based in Chicago, Illinois. “

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Separately, B. Riley reissued a buy rating and issued a $14.00 price objective on shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $14.13.

Shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) opened at $12.65 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $360.92, a P/E ratio of 11.71 and a beta of 0.62. Ares Commercial Real Estate has a 52 week low of $11.96 and a 52 week high of $14.22.

Ares Commercial Real Estate (NYSE:ACRE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 1st. The real estate investment trust reported $0.25 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $25.22 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.35 million. Ares Commercial Real Estate had a return on equity of 7.54% and a net margin of 31.17%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.28 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Ares Commercial Real Estate will post 1.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 17th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 29th will be issued a $0.28 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. This is a positive change from Ares Commercial Real Estate’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 8.85%. Ares Commercial Real Estate’s dividend payout ratio is currently 100.00%.

In other Ares Commercial Real Estate news, Director William Stephen Benjamin bought 12,715 shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 7th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $12.32 per share, with a total value of $156,648.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 1.75% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ACRE. Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate by 4.5% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 305,097 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $3,994,000 after acquiring an additional 12,999 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate by 4.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,238,404 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $16,211,000 after acquiring an additional 49,469 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate by 14.9% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 86,671 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,135,000 after acquiring an additional 11,239 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its holdings in shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate by 10.8% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 25,473 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $333,000 after acquiring an additional 2,491 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate in the third quarter valued at approximately $103,000. 63.16% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Ares Commercial Real Estate

Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation is a specialty finance company. The Company is primarily engaged in originating and investing in commercial real estate (CRE) loans and related investments. The Company operates through principal lending segment. Its target investments include senior mortgage loans, subordinated debt, preferred equity, mezzanine loans and other CRE investment opportunities, including commercial mortgage-backed securities.

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