Shares of EastGroup Properties Inc. (NYSE:EGP) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 224,030 shares were traded during mid-day trading, a decline of 6% from the previous session’s volume of 238,482 shares.The stock last traded at $70.99 and had previously closed at $72.12.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded EastGroup Properties from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 29th. DA Davidson upped their price target on EastGroup Properties from $58.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of EastGroup Properties in a report on Wednesday, April 20th. Stifel Nicolaus raised EastGroup Properties from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, April 22nd. Finally, TheStreet raised EastGroup Properties from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $62.00.

The company has a market capitalization of $2.30 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.45. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $68.86 and a 200 day moving average price of $60.23.

EastGroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.92 earnings per share. The company earned $61.92 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $61.53 million. The company’s revenue was up 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that EastGroup Properties Inc. will post $3.97 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 17th were issued a $0.60 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 15th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.37%.

In other news, Director H C. Bailey, Jr. sold 1,339 shares of EastGroup Properties stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.30, for a total value of $90,114.70. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,459 shares in the company, valued at approximately $434,690.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director H Eric Bolton, Jr. purchased 1,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 26th. The stock was bought at an average price of $59.95 per share, for a total transaction of $101,915.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 6,969 shares in the company, valued at approximately $417,791.55. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

Other hedge funds have bought and sold shares of the company. State of Tennessee Treasury Department acquired a new stake in EastGroup Properties during the fourth quarter worth $1,401,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in EastGroup Properties by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 420,302 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,374,000 after buying an additional 4,117 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR boosted its stake in EastGroup Properties by 11.8% in the fourth quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 32,257 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,794,000 after buying an additional 3,405 shares during the last quarter. Century Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in EastGroup Properties by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Century Capital Management LLC now owns 85,439 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,751,000 after buying an additional 1,660 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in EastGroup Properties by 44.8% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 394,966 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,964,000 after buying an additional 122,146 shares during the last quarter.

EastGroup Properties, Inc is an equity real estate investment trust. The Company is focused on the development, acquisition and operation of industrial properties in various Sunbelt markets across the United States with an emphasis in the states of Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and North Carolina.

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