Medical Properties Trust Inc. (NYSE:MPW) shares reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $15.50 and last traded at $15.49, with a volume of 674,583 shares. The stock had previously closed at $15.42.

Several research firms recently issued reports on MPW. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Medical Properties Trust from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. SunTrust Banks Inc. began coverage on shares of Medical Properties Trust in a research report on Monday, May 23rd. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Jefferies Group upped their target price on shares of Medical Properties Trust to $13.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 7th. JMP Securities lowered shares of Medical Properties Trust from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 1st. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Medical Properties Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $13.58.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $15.01 and its 200-day moving average is $12.99. The firm has a market cap of $3.68 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.965.

Medical Properties Trust (NYSE:MPW) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 4th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.35. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.28 earnings per share. The firm earned $135 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $131.74 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 40.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Medical Properties Trust Inc. will post $1.30 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 16th were given a $0.23 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 14th. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.97%. This is a positive change from Medical Properties Trust’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22.

In related news, Director Sherry A. Kellett sold 24,000 shares of Medical Properties Trust stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.46, for a total value of $347,040.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 57,617 shares in the company, valued at approximately $833,141.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO R Steven Hamner sold 68,000 shares of Medical Properties Trust stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.74, for a total transaction of $1,002,320.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 952,558 shares in the company, valued at $14,040,704.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in Medical Properties Trust by 8.1% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 92,416 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,064,000 after buying an additional 6,887 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in Medical Properties Trust by 328.0% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 125,695 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,447,000 after buying an additional 96,325 shares during the period. ProShare Advisors LLC increased its stake in Medical Properties Trust by 23.2% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 125,889 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,449,000 after buying an additional 23,677 shares during the period. State of Tennessee Treasury Department bought a new stake in Medical Properties Trust during the fourth quarter worth approximately $2,090,000. Finally, Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in Medical Properties Trust by 1,437.1% in the fourth quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 185,118 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,131,000 after buying an additional 173,075 shares during the period.

Medical Properties Trust, Inc is a self-advised real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on investing in and owning net-leased healthcare facilities. It conducts all of its business through MPT Operating Partnership, L.P. It acquires and develops healthcare facilities and leases the facilities to healthcare operating companies under long-term net leases.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.