Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday. They currently have $48.00 target price on the real estate investment trust’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Liberty Property have outperformed the industry it belongs to, year to date. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year funds from operations (FFO) per share remained unchanged in a month’s time. The company’s premium quality industrial properties located in strategic locations will enable it to capitalize from the increasing demand amid an e-commerce boom and a healthy manufacturing environment. Also, it is poised for growth as fundamentals of the industrial real estate market remain robust, resulting in solid rent growth, enhanced occupancy and development opportunities. Notably, the company’s industrial portfolio was 95.9% leased at the end of second-quarter 2017, reflecting strong demand for space. However, adverse near-term impact on earnings from dispositions and rise in interest rates remain concerns.”

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $44.00 target price on shares of Liberty Property Trust in a report on Thursday, July 6th. BidaskClub downgraded Liberty Property Trust from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, June 21st. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Liberty Property Trust in a report on Friday, August 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Liberty Property Trust has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $43.60.

Shares of Liberty Property Trust (LPT) opened at 42.84 on Tuesday. Liberty Property Trust has a 1-year low of $36.22 and a 1-year high of $43.70. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $42.05 and its 200 day moving average price is $40.90. The stock has a market cap of $6.31 billion, a PE ratio of 18.32 and a beta of 0.88.

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.62 by $0.03. Liberty Property Trust had a return on equity of 11.37% and a net margin of 47.24%. The company had revenue of $183.13 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $175.60 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.68 EPS. Liberty Property Trust’s quarterly revenue was down 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Liberty Property Trust will post $1.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, October 15th. Investors of record on Monday, October 2nd will be issued a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.73%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 29th. Liberty Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 68.38%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in LPT. Shell Asset Management Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Liberty Property Trust by 1.0% in the 1st quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 8,681 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $335,000 after purchasing an additional 84 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in shares of Liberty Property Trust by 3.0% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 216,512 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $8,347,000 after purchasing an additional 6,350 shares during the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lifted its holdings in shares of Liberty Property Trust by 90.8% in the 1st quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 29,200 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,126,000 after purchasing an additional 13,900 shares during the last quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Liberty Property Trust by 21.9% in the 1st quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 7,031 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $271,000 after purchasing an additional 1,264 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Liberty Property Trust in the 1st quarter worth approximately $677,000. 91.67% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Liberty Property Trust

Liberty Property Trust (the Trust) is a self-administered and self-managed Maryland real estate investment trust (REIT). The Trust’s assets are owned directly or indirectly, and substantially all of the Trust’s operations are conducted directly or indirectly, by its subsidiary, Liberty Property Limited Partnership (the Operating Partnership).

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