Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Eastgroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday. They currently have $111.00 price objective on the real estate investment trust’s stock.

According to Zacks, “EastGroup Properties is a self-administered real estate investment trust focused on ownership, acquisition and selective development of industrial properties. The company pursues a three-pronged investment strategy that includes: the acquisition of industrial properties at favorable initial yields, with opportunities to improve cash flow performance through management; selective development of industrial properties in markets where they already has a presence and where market conditions justify such investments; and the acquisition of existing public & private companies. “

EGP has been the subject of several other reports. ValuEngine cut Eastgroup Properties from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 4th. SunTrust Banks set a $92.00 price objective on Eastgroup Properties and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Jefferies Financial Group initiated coverage on Eastgroup Properties in a research report on Friday, November 30th. They set a hold rating and a $99.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Citigroup upped their price objective on Eastgroup Properties from $90.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 30th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Eastgroup Properties currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $98.02.

NYSE:EGP opened at $100.43 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $3.62 billion, a PE ratio of 23.58, a P/E/G ratio of 4.12 and a beta of 0.69. Eastgroup Properties has a fifty-two week low of $77.74 and a fifty-two week high of $101.91.

Eastgroup Properties (NYSE:EGP) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.64 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.50 by $0.14. Eastgroup Properties had a return on equity of 10.69% and a net margin of 29.80%. The firm had revenue of $75.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $74.65 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.08 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Eastgroup Properties will post 4.67 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Investors of record on Monday, December 31st will be paid a $0.72 dividend. This represents a $2.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.87%. Eastgroup Properties’s payout ratio is 67.61%.

In other Eastgroup Properties news, EVP John F. Coleman sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.57, for a total value of $995,700.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director H C. Bailey, Jr. sold 264 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.01, for a total value of $25,610.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 16,264 shares of company stock valued at $1,621,011. 2.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Eastgroup Properties by 3.9% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,992,530 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $668,625,000 after buying an additional 260,095 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Eastgroup Properties by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,502,403 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $526,140,000 after buying an additional 116,567 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Eastgroup Properties by 3.2% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,450,207 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $234,289,000 after acquiring an additional 75,453 shares during the last quarter. Earnest Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Eastgroup Properties by 14.8% during the third quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 1,010,119 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $94,082,000 after acquiring an additional 130,523 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in shares of Eastgroup Properties by 1.5% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 662,077 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $63,268,000 after acquiring an additional 10,068 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.61% of the company’s stock.

About Eastgroup Properties

EastGroup Properties, Inc is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust focused on the development, acquisition and operation of industrial properties in major Sunbelt markets throughout the United States with an emphasis in the states of Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and North Carolina.

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