istar (STAR) Rating Increased to Buy at ValuEngine

istar (NYSE:STAR) was upgraded by ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Friday.

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on STAR. BidaskClub upgraded istar from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 27th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and issued a $14.00 price objective on shares of istar in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, TheStreet cut istar from a “c” rating to a “d” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $14.00.

Shares of istar (NYSE STAR) opened at $11.51 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 6.50, a current ratio of 6.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.76. The firm has a market capitalization of $784.98, a PE ratio of 6.12 and a beta of 1.26. istar has a twelve month low of $10.95 and a twelve month high of $12.74.

istar declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, December 14th that authorizes the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the real estate investment trust to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, major shareholder Istar Inc. purchased 34,405 shares of istar stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 19th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $19.28 per share, for a total transaction of $663,328.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 6,245,061 shares in the company, valued at $120,404,776.08. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Matthew Gaden Western Wood purchased 139,000 shares of istar stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 28th. The shares were bought at an average price of $0.28 per share, with a total value of $38,920.00. Over the last quarter, insiders have purchased 703,940 shares of company stock valued at $5,520,857. 4.41% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in istar by 15.6% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 225,944 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $2,720,000 after purchasing an additional 30,434 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its holdings in istar by 237.1% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 435,379 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $5,242,000 after purchasing an additional 306,243 shares during the period. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. acquired a new stake in istar in the third quarter valued at approximately $1,281,000. Private Management Group Inc. grew its holdings in istar by 332.3% in the third quarter. Private Management Group Inc. now owns 529,556 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $6,249,000 after purchasing an additional 407,069 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in istar by 9.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 437,418 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $5,267,000 after purchasing an additional 38,450 shares during the period. 87.49% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About istar

iStar Inc finances, invests in and develops real estate and real estate related projects as part of its integrated investment platform. The Company’s four business segments are Real Estate Finance, Net Lease, Operating Properties, and Land and Development. The Real Estate Finance portfolio consists of senior and mezzanine real estate loans that may be either fixed-rate or variable-rate.

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