Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW) Short Interest Update

Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,950,000 shares, an increase of 14.0% from the September 30th total of 1,710,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 800,600 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.4 days. Approximately 1.9% of the company’s stock are sold short.

Shares of NYSE HIW traded up $0.17 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $46.73. The company had a trading volume of 367,603 shares, compared to its average volume of 788,199. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.98, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.33 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a quick ratio of 1.40, a current ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08. Highwoods Properties has a 1-year low of $37.09 and a 1-year high of $47.33. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $45.11 and its 200-day moving average is $44.17.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 22nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.27 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.85 by ($0.58). Highwoods Properties had a net margin of 17.85% and a return on equity of 5.93%. The company had revenue of $187.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $185.95 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.86 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Highwoods Properties will post 3.32 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 3rd. Investors of record on Monday, November 11th will be paid a $0.475 dividend. This represents a $1.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.07%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 7th. Highwoods Properties’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 55.07%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Highwoods Properties by 45.0% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,420,597 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $182,571,000 after buying an additional 1,372,377 shares during the period. Heitman Real Estate Securities LLC bought a new position in Highwoods Properties during the 2nd quarter worth $37,783,000. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its position in Highwoods Properties by 26.0% during the 2nd quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 1,681,827 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $69,459,000 after buying an additional 346,806 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in Highwoods Properties by 132.3% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 563,763 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $23,284,000 after buying an additional 321,060 shares during the period. Finally, Echo Street Capital Management LLC increased its position in Highwoods Properties by 48.6% during the 2nd quarter. Echo Street Capital Management LLC now owns 944,078 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $38,990,000 after buying an additional 308,764 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.19% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have weighed in on HIW. ValuEngine downgraded Highwoods Properties from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th. SunTrust Banks upped their price target on Highwoods Properties from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, September 23rd. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $49.00 price target on Highwoods Properties and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $50.00.

About Highwoods Properties

Highwoods Properties, Inc, headquartered in Raleigh, is a publicly-traded (NYSE:HIW) real estate investment trust (“REIT”) and a member of the S&P MidCap 400 Index. The Company is a fully-integrated office REIT that owns, develops, acquires, leases and manages properties primarily in the best business districts (BBDs) of Atlanta, Greensboro, Memphis, Nashville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Richmond and Tampa.

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