Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Simon Property have outperformed the industry it belongs to in the past three months. Recently, it settled litigation with Starbucks over the Teavana store closure and this settlement removes the litigation overhang issue from Simon Property. Notably, in a bid to beat the retail blues, Simon Property is focused on offering a comprehensive digital experience to its customers. Further, to make its shopping malls more appealing, it is overhauling its properties and increasingly adopting omni-channel strategies. The company has also resorted to micro-retail modeling that offers store units ranging from 20-200 square feet of space. While Simon Property is putting in every effort to enhance the value of its assets, the implementation of such measures requires a decent upfront cost and therefore, would limit any robust growth in its profit margins in the near term. Also, rate hike have added to its woes.”

Several other research firms have also recently commented on SPG. Boenning Scattergood set a $240.00 price objective on shares of Simon Property Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $170.00 price objective on shares of Simon Property Group in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Raymond James Financial set a $185.00 price objective on shares of Simon Property Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 3rd. SunTrust Banks set a $170.00 price objective on shares of Simon Property Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $175.00 price objective on shares of Simon Property Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $191.11.

Simon Property Group (NYSE SPG) opened at $164.24 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $52,550.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.02, a PEG ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.62. Simon Property Group has a 52-week low of $150.15 and a 52-week high of $187.35. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.57.

Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $2.89 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.88 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.39 billion. Simon Property Group had a net margin of 31.96% and a return on equity of 41.85%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.70 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Simon Property Group will post 11.21 EPS for the current year.

In other Simon Property Group news, CAO Steven K. Broadwater sold 621 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Saturday, December 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $171.95, for a total transaction of $106,780.95. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 2,290 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $393,765.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders own 8.42% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of SPG. Capital World Investors lifted its position in Simon Property Group by 25.4% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 20,788,000 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $3,362,667,000 after buying an additional 4,210,000 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Simon Property Group by 13.5% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 6,628,178 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,067,204,000 after purchasing an additional 789,384 shares during the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. increased its stake in shares of Simon Property Group by 6.2% during the 3rd quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 12,350,345 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,988,529,000 after purchasing an additional 719,375 shares during the last quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Simon Property Group by 28.4% during the 2nd quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,124,419 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $505,406,000 after purchasing an additional 690,169 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Simon Property Group during the 2nd quarter worth about $456,000. 47.52% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Simon Property Group

Simon Property Group, Inc is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company owns, develops and manages retail real estate properties, which consist primarily of malls, Premium Outlets and The Mills. Simon Property Group, L.P. (Operating Partnership), is the Company’s partnership subsidiary that owns all of its real estate properties and other assets.

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