Zacks Investment Research Lowers WP Carey (NYSE:WPC) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of WP Carey (NYSE:WPC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Saturday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “W. P. Carey Inc. is a real estate investment trust engaged in providing long-term sale-leaseback and build-to-suit financing for companies. The firm primarily invests in commercial properties that are generally triple-net leased to single corporate tenants including office, warehouse, industrial, logistics, retail, hotel, R&D, and self-storage properties. W. P. Carey Inc., formerly known as W. P. Carey & Co. LLC, is based in New York. “

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of WP Carey from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $92.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 10th. BMO Capital Markets began coverage on shares of WP Carey in a research note on Friday, October 25th. They issued an outperform rating for the company. Finally, Evercore ISI upgraded shares of WP Carey from an underperform rating to an in-line rating and set a $88.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, November 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $84.50.

Shares of WP Carey stock opened at $82.56 on Friday. WP Carey has a twelve month low of $68.33 and a twelve month high of $93.62. The company has a quick ratio of 0.67, a current ratio of 0.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $80.35 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $85.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.41 and a beta of 0.38.

WP Carey (NYSE:WPC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 1st. The real estate investment trust reported $0.24 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.15 by ($0.91). WP Carey had a return on equity of 5.31% and a net margin of 30.89%. The business had revenue of $318.01 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $317.44 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.70 EPS. WP Carey’s revenue for the quarter was up 51.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that WP Carey will post 4.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 31st will be issued a $1.038 dividend. This is a positive change from WP Carey’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.04. This represents a $4.15 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.03%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 30th. WP Carey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 76.99%.

In other news, Director Mark A. Alexander bought 2,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 11th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $80.50 per share, with a total value of $185,150.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 10,878 shares in the company, valued at $875,679. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 1.09% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WPC. PGGM Investments bought a new position in WP Carey in the 3rd quarter valued at about $232,393,000. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of WP Carey by 4.0% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,606,389 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,997,547,000 after purchasing an additional 952,682 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of WP Carey by 153.8% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 570,157 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $46,286,000 after purchasing an additional 345,535 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of WP Carey by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,659,733 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,108,897,000 after purchasing an additional 309,781 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp grew its holdings in shares of WP Carey by 3.6% during the 3rd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 7,283,276 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $659,276,000 after purchasing an additional 251,476 shares during the last quarter. 57.84% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About WP Carey

W. P. Carey ranks among the largest net lease REITs with an enterprise value of approximately $17 billion and a diversified portfolio of operationally-critical commercial real estate that includes 1,163 net lease properties covering approximately 131 million square feet. For over four decades, the company has invested in high-quality single-tenant industrial, warehouse, office and retail properties subject to long-term leases with built-in rent escalators.

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