Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) was the target of a significant growth in short interest during the month of September. As of September 15th, there was short interest totalling 4,939,668 shares, a growth of 47.4% from the August 31st total of 3,350,114 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,275,583 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.9 days. Approximately 14.7% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Several analysts have weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Whitestone REIT from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Whitestone REIT from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Whitestone REIT in a research note on Friday, August 18th. BidaskClub raised shares of Whitestone REIT from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Finally, FBR & Co reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $14.00 price target on shares of Whitestone REIT in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $14.67.

In other Whitestone REIT news, Director Paul T. Lambert purchased 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $12.29 per share, with a total value of $36,870.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 51,918 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $638,072.22. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 5.29% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Perigon Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Whitestone REIT during the 2nd quarter valued at about $101,000. Schnieders Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Whitestone REIT by 7.6% during the 2nd quarter. Schnieders Capital Management LLC now owns 11,275 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Capital Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Whitestone REIT by 8.8% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Investment Advisors LLC now owns 12,300 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. bought a new stake in Whitestone REIT during the 2nd quarter valued at about $168,000. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Whitestone REIT by 147.4% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 14,840 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $182,000 after buying an additional 8,841 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 43.73% of the company’s stock.

Whitestone REIT (NYSE WSR) opened at 13.25 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $12.89 and its 200 day moving average is $12.72. Whitestone REIT has a 52 week low of $10.80 and a 52 week high of $14.78. The company has a market capitalization of $510.43 million, a P/E ratio of 92.01 and a beta of 0.94.

Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.26 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $30.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.68 million. Whitestone REIT had a net margin of 4.36% and a return on equity of 1.69%. The business’s revenue was up 20.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.32 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Whitestone REIT will post $0.28 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 13th. Investors of record on Friday, November 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.095 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 2nd. This represents a $1.14 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 8.60%. Whitestone REIT’s payout ratio is 876.99%.

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About Whitestone REIT

Whitestone REIT is a real estate investment trust. The Company is engaged in owning and operating commercial properties in culturally diverse markets in various metropolitan areas. The Company’s acquisition targets are located in densely populated, culturally diverse neighborhoods, primarily in and around Austin, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix and San Antonio.

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