Medical Properties Trust Inc. (NYSE:MPW) gapped up prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $15.65, but opened at $15.69. Medical Properties Trust shares last traded at $15.80, with a volume of 731,168 shares traded.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG assumed coverage on shares of Medical Properties Trust in a report on Friday. They issued a “buy” rating and a $17.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Medical Properties Trust from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 19th. 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. TheStreet raised shares of Medical Properties Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. assumed coverage on shares of Medical Properties Trust in a research report on Monday, May 23rd. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Medical Properties Trust currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $14.07.

The company’s 50-day moving average price is $15.11 and its 200 day moving average price is $13.08. The company has a market capitalization of $3.75 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.41.

Medical Properties Trust (NYSE:MPW) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 4th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.35 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.28 earnings per share. The company had revenue of $135 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $131.74 million. The company’s revenue was up 40.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Medical Properties Trust Inc. will post $1.29 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 16th were issued a dividend of $0.23 per share. This is a positive change from Medical Properties Trust’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 14th. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.82%.

In related news, Director Sherry A. Kellett sold 24,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.46, for a total transaction of $347,040.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 57,617 shares in the company, valued at $833,141.82. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, COO Emmett E. Mclean sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.67, for a total transaction of $733,500.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 709,252 shares in the company, valued at $10,404,726.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors recently modified their holdings of the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Medical Properties Trust by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,886,323 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $44,731,000 after buying an additional 82,723 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank increased its position in Medical Properties Trust by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 347,047 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $3,855,000 after buying an additional 3,880 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. increased its position 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. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its position in Medical Properties Trust by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 618,529 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $7,119,000 after buying an additional 41,442 shares during the period. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in Medical Properties Trust by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 399,455 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $4,598,000 after buying an additional 24,355 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.