Eastgroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

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 research firms also recently commented on EGP. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Eastgroup Properties from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. SunTrust Banks set a $92.00 target price on shares of Eastgroup Properties and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Jefferies Financial Group started coverage on shares of Eastgroup Properties in a research report on Friday, November 30th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $99.00 target price for the company. Finally, Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Eastgroup Properties from $90.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 30th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $98.00.

EGP traded down $2.31 on Wednesday, reaching $98.99. 221,640 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 139,568. Eastgroup Properties has a 52-week low of $77.74 and a 52-week high of $101.91. The company has a market capitalization of $3.60 billion, a PE ratio of 23.24, a PEG ratio of 4.18 and a beta of 0.69.

Eastgroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.64 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $75.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $74.65 million. Eastgroup Properties had a net margin of 29.80% and a return on equity of 10.69%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Eastgroup Properties will post 4.67 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, EVP John F. Coleman sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.57, for a total transaction of $995,700.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director H C. Bailey, Jr. sold 264 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.01, for a total transaction of $25,610.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 16,264 shares of company stock valued at $1,621,011 over the last three months. Insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of EGP. Federated Investors Inc. PA bought a new stake in shares of Eastgroup Properties during the 2nd quarter worth $115,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc bought a new stake in shares of Eastgroup Properties during the 2nd quarter worth $133,000. Lido Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Eastgroup Properties during the 2nd quarter worth $203,000. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV bought a new stake in shares of Eastgroup Properties during the 2nd quarter worth $207,000. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Eastgroup Properties during the 2nd quarter worth $222,000. 94.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Eastgroup Properties

EastGroup Properties, Inc is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust focused on the development, acquisition and operation of industrial properties in major Sunbelt markets throughout the United States with an emphasis in the states of Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and North Carolina.

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