Highwoods Properties Inc. (NYSE:HIW) shares dropped 2.1% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as low as $53.37 and last traded at $53.41, with a volume of 299,892 shares. The stock had previously closed at $54.58.

HIW has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Wood & Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $62.00 price target on shares of Highwoods Properties in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Morgan Stanley cut shares of Highwoods Properties from an “overweight” rating to an “equal” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $47.00 to $50.00 in a report on Thursday, May 12th. Capital One Financial Corp. cut shares of Highwoods Properties from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Sunday, June 5th. Jefferies Group cut shares of Highwoods Properties from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $49.00 to $50.00 in a report on Friday, April 22nd. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. raised their target price on shares of Highwoods Properties from $48.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 15th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $52.20.

The company has a market cap of $5.29 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.01. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $53.57 and its 200 day moving average is $48.10.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.02. The company earned $166.86 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $164.24 million. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.77 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Highwoods Properties Inc. will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 15th will be issued a $0.425 dividend. This represents a $1.70 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 11th.

In other news, CEO Edward J. Fritsch sold 24,656 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.36, for a total value of $1,217,020.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 436,261 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,533,842.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Sherry A. Kellett sold 7,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.32, for a total transaction of $359,632.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 13,384 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $633,330.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors recently modified their holdings of HIW. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its position in shares of 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 valued at $1,205,000 after buying an additional 467 shares during the last quarter. KBC Group NV boosted its stake in shares of Highwoods Properties by 52.6% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 32,042 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,397,000 after buying an additional 11,049 shares in the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Highwoods Properties by 9.5% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 33,252 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,449,000 after buying an additional 2,892 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Highwoods Properties by 7.6% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 37,057 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,616,000 after buying an additional 2,632 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. boosted its stake in shares of 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.

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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