Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Friday . Approximately 1,959,741 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 210% from the previous session’s volume of 631,988 shares.The stock last traded at $6.78 and had previously closed at $6.75.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on AHT shares. ValuEngine lowered shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $7.50 price target on shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. B. Riley reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $7.00 price target on shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust in a research report on Friday, November 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $7.42.

The stock has a market cap of $665.35, a PE ratio of 5.25, a P/E/G ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 1.49. The company has a current ratio of 3.94, a quick ratio of 3.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.29.

Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE:AHT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.32 by ($0.02). Ashford Hospitality Trust had a negative net margin of 5.61% and a negative return on equity of 10.79%. The business had revenue of $353.33 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $360.10 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.40 EPS. Ashford Hospitality Trust’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. will post 1.38 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 29th will be given a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 7.08%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. Ashford Hospitality Trust’s payout ratio is currently -35.04%.

Ashford Hospitality Trust announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Monday, December 11th that permits the company to repurchase $200.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the real estate investment trust to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. SG Americas Securities LLC increased its holdings in Ashford Hospitality Trust by 80.5% in the 3rd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 20,316 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $136,000 after acquiring an additional 9,060 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group purchased a new stake in Ashford Hospitality Trust in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $156,000. Verition Fund Management LLC purchased a new stake in Ashford Hospitality Trust in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $148,000. WFG Advisors LP increased its holdings in Ashford Hospitality Trust by 20.1% in the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 31,230 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $190,000 after acquiring an additional 5,230 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arete Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Ashford Hospitality Trust in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $194,000. 71.05% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Ashford Hospitality Trust

Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc is an externally-advised real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is focused on investing in the hospitality industry with a focus on full-service upscale and upper-upscale hotels in the United States. The Company owns its lodging investments and conducts its business through Ashford Hospitality Limited Partnership (Ashford Trust OP), its operating partnership.

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