Shares of W.P. Carey Inc. (NYSE:WPC) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $71.97 and last traded at $71.87, with a volume of 134,532 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $71.02.

Several brokerages have issued reports on WPC. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of W.P. Carey from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $82.00 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of W.P. Carey from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the company from $70.00 to $81.00 in a report on Thursday, July 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup Inc. upped their price target on shares of W.P. Carey from $54.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of W.P. Carey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, May 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. W.P. Carey currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $71.63.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $69.08 and its 200 day moving average is $62.35. The stock has a market cap of $7.54 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.75.

W.P. Carey (NYSE:WPC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 5th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.87. The company had revenue of $244.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $177.19 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.22 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that W.P. Carey Inc. will post $2.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 30th were given a dividend of $0.98 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 28th. This represents a $3.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.45%. This is an increase from W.P. Carey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.97.

In related news, Director Mary M. Vandeweghe purchased 1,000 shares of W.P. Carey stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 9th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $63.08 per share, for a total transaction of $63,080.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,389 shares in the company, valued at $339,938.12. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently modified their holdings of WPC. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of W.P. Carey by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,822,403 shares of the company’s stock valued at $815,521,000 after buying an additional 309,256 shares during the period. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. increased its position in shares of W.P. Carey by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. now owns 18,308 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,092,000 after buying an additional 434 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of W.P. Carey by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 52,488 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,097,000 after buying an additional 2,088 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of W.P. Carey by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 140,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,290,000 after buying an additional 6,500 shares during the period. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in shares of W.P. Carey by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 74,541 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,398,000 after buying an additional 1,070 shares during the period.

W. P. Carey provides long-term, sale-leaseback and build-to-suit transactions for companies worldwide, and manages a global investment portfolio. It has two primary business segments. Under the investment management segment, the Company earns revenue as the advisor to publicly owned, non-actively traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), which are sponsored by the Company under the Corporate Property Associates brand name (the CPA REITs) and invests in similar properties.

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.