Shares of Highwoods Properties Inc. (NYSE:HIW) reached a new 52-week high on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $54.06 and last traded at $53.59, with a volume of 283,566 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $53.67.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on HIW shares. SunTrust Banks Inc. downgraded Highwoods Properties from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $48.00 target price for the company. in a report on Thursday, March 17th. Morgan Stanley downgraded Highwoods Properties from an “overweight” rating to an “equal” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $47.00 to $50.00 in a report on Thursday, May 12th. Jefferies Group cut Highwoods Properties from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $49.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Friday, April 22nd. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price target on Highwoods Properties from $47.00 to $52.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, Capital One Financial Corp. cut Highwoods Properties from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Sunday, June 5th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Highwoods Properties has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.13.

The firm has a market cap of $5.19 billion and a P/E ratio of 9.99. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $50.48 and a 200-day moving average of $46.37.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 26th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.79 by $0.03. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.72 EPS. The firm earned $164.90 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $165.74 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Highwoods Properties Inc. will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Edward J. Fritsch sold 85,822 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.27, for a total value of $4,485,915.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 471,533 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $24,647,029.91. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Jeffrey Douglas Miller sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.46, for a total transaction of $617,520.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 68,115 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,505,197.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. raised its position in Highwoods Properties by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 55,748 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,431,000 after buying an additional 1,752 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its position in Highwoods Properties by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,633,714 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $114,829,000 after buying an additional 31,871 shares in the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC raised its position in Highwoods Properties by 6.6% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 200,009 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $8,720,000 after buying an additional 12,313 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its position in Highwoods Properties by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 27,638 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,205,000 after buying an additional 467 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Highwoods Properties by 51.4% in the fourth quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. now owns 60,671 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,645,000 after buying an additional 20,602 shares in the last quarter.

Highwoods Properties, Inc is a real estate investment trust. The Company provides leasing, management, development, construction and other customer-related services for its properties and for third-parties. The Company is engaged in the business of operation, acquisition and development of real estate properties.

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