Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Weingarten Realty Investors is focused on delivering solid returns to shareholders by actively developing, acquiring, and intensively managing properties in twenty one states that span the southern portion of the United States from coast to coast. Weingarten’s business activities encompass the long-term ownership, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of strategically located neighborhood and community shopping centers and select industrial properties. The vast majority of our shopping centers are anchored by either a supermarket or a national value-oriented retailer. These anchors combined with convenient locations, attractive and well-maintained properties and a strong tenant mix help to ensure the long-term success of our merchants and the viability of our portfolio. The Company’s portfolio of Thirf caproperties includes thirty neighborhood and community shopping centers and sixty four industrial properties, aggregating fourty million square feet. “

WRI has been the subject of several other reports. Boenning Scattergood cut shares of Weingarten Realty Investors from a neutral rating to an underperform rating in a report on Monday, May 15th. Robert W. Baird started coverage on shares of Weingarten Realty Investors in a report on Thursday, April 20th. They set an outperform rating and a $41.00 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and set a $37.00 price objective on shares of Weingarten Realty Investors in a report on Monday, April 24th. BidaskClub raised shares of Weingarten Realty Investors from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Weingarten Realty Investors from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $37.60.

Shares of Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) opened at 32.94 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $4.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.14 and a beta of 0.71. Weingarten Realty Investors has a 52 week low of $29.03 and a 52 week high of $42.79. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $30.82 and its 200 day moving average is $32.88.

Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.01. Weingarten Realty Investors had a net margin of 33.57% and a return on equity of 11.03%. The firm had revenue of $142.96 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $142.34 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.57 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Weingarten Realty Investors will post $0.98 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.385 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 7th. This represents a $1.54 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.68%. Weingarten Realty Investors’s dividend payout ratio is currently 104.76%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Weingarten Realty Investors by 3,391.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 18,486,399 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $617,261,000 after buying an additional 17,956,849 shares during the period. CT Financial Advisors LLC increased its position in Weingarten Realty Investors by 0.4% in the first quarter. CT Financial Advisors LLC now owns 4,111 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 18 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in Weingarten Realty Investors by 165.5% in the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 224,091 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $7,483,000 after buying an additional 139,680 shares during the period. World Asset Management Inc increased its position in Weingarten Realty Investors by 1.7% in the first quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 8,952 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $299,000 after buying an additional 148 shares during the period. Finally, UBS Group AG increased its position in Weingarten Realty Investors by 199.5% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 233,865 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $7,809,000 after buying an additional 155,779 shares during the period. 79.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Weingarten Realty Investors Company Profile

Weingarten Realty Investors is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s primary business is leasing space to tenants in the shopping centers it owns or leases. The Company also provides property management services. The Company is in the business of owning, managing and developing retail shopping centers.

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