Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Investors Real Estate Trust (NYSE:IRET) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Investors Real Estate Trust is a real estate investment trust operating in the Midwest. “

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on IRET. Janney Montgomery Scott initiated coverage on Investors Real Estate Trust in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. They set a buy rating and a $7.00 price target for the company. Robert W. Baird set a $6.00 price objective on Investors Real Estate Trust and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Wunderlich cut their price objective on Investors Real Estate Trust from $7.50 to $6.75 and set a hold rating for the company in a research note on Friday, July 1st. Finally, DA Davidson cut their price objective on Investors Real Estate Trust from $7.00 to $6.05 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Monday, September 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $6.45.

Investors Real Estate Trust (NYSE:IRET) opened at 5.76 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $700.02 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.95 and a beta of 0.74. Investors Real Estate Trust has a 52-week low of $5.66 and a 52-week high of $8.39. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $6.39 and its 200-day moving average is $6.52.

Investors Real Estate Trust (NYSE:IRET) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 8th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.12. The business earned $49.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $48.74 million. Investors Real Estate Trust had a negative return on equity of 1.83% and a net margin of 22.23%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.16 EPS. Analysts forecast that Investors Real Estate Trust will post $0.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 9.03%. Investors Real Estate Trust’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 185.71%.

In related news, Director Linda J. Hall purchased 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 13th. The shares were bought at an average price of $5.89 per share, for a total transaction of $29,450.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 34,908 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $205,608.12. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Jeffrey L. Miller purchased 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 16th. The shares were bought at an average price of $5.83 per share, for a total transaction of $34,980.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now directly owns 288,096 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,679,599.68. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in shares of Investors Real Estate Trust by 1.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 4,526,537 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $32,863,000 after buying an additional 73,063 shares during the period. Investment Centers of America Inc. increased its position in shares of Investors Real Estate Trust by 16.1% in the first quarter. Investment Centers of America Inc. now owns 1,604,600 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $11,652,000 after buying an additional 222,158 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Investors Real Estate Trust by 4.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 116,524 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $846,000 after buying an additional 4,589 shares during the period. National Planning Corp increased its position in shares of Investors Real Estate Trust by 7.8% in the first quarter. National Planning Corp now owns 16,210 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 1,168 shares during the period. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY increased its position in shares of Investors Real Estate Trust by 2.1% in the first quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 92,550 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $672,000 after buying an additional 1,885 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 48.92% of the company’s stock.

About Investors Real Estate Trust

Investors Real Estate Trust is a self-advised equity real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s business consists of owning and operating income-producing real estate properties. Its segments include Multifamily, Healthcare and All Other. Its investments consist of multifamily and healthcare properties located primarily in the upper Midwest states of Minnesota and North Dakota.

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