Shares of Washington Prime Group Inc (NYSE:WPG) have received an average rating of “Sell” from the six analysts that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and one has issued a hold rating on the company. The average twelve-month target price among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $5.17.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on WPG shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Washington Prime Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, December 8th. Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of Washington Prime Group from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $6.60 to $4.30 in a report on Tuesday, December 18th. Finally, SunTrust Banks lowered shares of Washington Prime Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $5.20 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, January 15th.

In other news, EVP Robert P. Demchak sold 11,747 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $5.74, for a total transaction of $67,427.78. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 58,620 shares in the company, valued at approximately $336,478.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Joshua Lindimore sold 5,116 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $5.75, for a total transaction of $29,417.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 18,920 shares in the company, valued at $108,790. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.41% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Washington Prime Group by 9.6% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,539,009 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $12,339,000 after acquiring an additional 223,374 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Washington Prime Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $9,357,000. Nordea Investment Management AB grew its position in Washington Prime Group by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 644,200 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $3,131,000 after acquiring an additional 5,700 shares in the last quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. grew its position in Washington Prime Group by 31.6% in the fourth quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 20,146 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $100,000 after acquiring an additional 4,839 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan acquired a new stake in Washington Prime Group in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $262,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.54% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:WPG opened at $5.47 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.03 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 1.13. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.11, a quick ratio of 0.50 and a current ratio of 0.50. Washington Prime Group has a 12-month low of $4.63 and a 12-month high of $8.44.

Washington Prime Group (NYSE:WPG) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 20th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by ($0.10). The firm had revenue of $184.32 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $190.10 million. Washington Prime Group had a net margin of 12.94% and a return on equity of 9.55%. Analysts forecast that Washington Prime Group will post 1.2 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 4th were issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 1st. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 18.28%. Washington Prime Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 66.23%.

Washington Prime Group Company Profile

Washington Prime Group Inc is a retail REIT and a recognized leader in the ownership, management, acquisition and development of retail properties. The Company combines a national real estate portfolio with an investment grade balance sheet, leveraging its expertise across the entire shopping center sector to increase cash flow through rigorous management of assets and provide new opportunities to retailers looking for growth throughout the U.S.

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