Ares Commercial Real Estate Corp (NYSE:ACRE) has received a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the eight brokerages that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 12-month target price among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $15.00.

A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ares Commercial Real Estate from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $17.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, March 27th. ValuEngine upgraded Ares Commercial Real Estate from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. Finally, Raymond James raised Ares Commercial Real Estate from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, January 11th.

In related news, Director William Stephen Benjamin purchased 3,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 6th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $15.16 per share, with a total value of $50,028.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Rand Scott April purchased 9,730 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 13th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $15.42 per share, with a total value of $150,036.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.21% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate by 294.7% during the 3rd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 172,500 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $2,410,000 after purchasing an additional 128,800 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate during the 4th quarter valued at $69,000. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate by 12.2% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 34,710 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $485,000 after purchasing an additional 3,780 shares during the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate during the 4th quarter valued at $334,000. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate by 58.5% during the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 65,000 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $848,000 after purchasing an additional 24,000 shares during the last quarter. 64.66% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Ares Commercial Real Estate stock traded down $0.10 on Monday, reaching $15.26. 13,558 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 178,268. The stock has a market capitalization of $441.75 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.98 and a beta of 0.61. Ares Commercial Real Estate has a 52 week low of $12.08 and a 52 week high of $15.53.

Ares Commercial Real Estate (NYSE:ACRE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 21st. The real estate investment trust reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.31 by $0.06. Ares Commercial Real Estate had a return on equity of 9.39% and a net margin of 32.63%. The company had revenue of $30.88 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $29.00 million. Sell-side analysts expect that Ares Commercial Real Estate will post 1.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 16th. Investors of record on Friday, March 29th were given a $0.33 dividend. This is a positive change from Ares Commercial Real Estate’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.31. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 8.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 28th. Ares Commercial Real Estate’s dividend payout ratio is presently 94.96%.

About Ares Commercial Real Estate

Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation, a specialty finance company, originates and invests in commercial real estate loans and related investments in the United States. It provides a range of financing solutions for the owners, operators, and sponsors of commercial real estate (CRE) properties. The company originates senior mortgage loans, subordinate debt products, real estate preferred equity investments, mezzanine loans, and other CRE investments.

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Analyst Recommendations for Ares Commercial Real Estate (NYSE:ACRE)

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