Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Whitestone REIT is a fully integrated real estate investment trust that acquires, owns, manages, develops and redevelops high quality internet-resistant neighborhood, community and lifestyle retail centers. Whitestone’s properties are principally located in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Phoenix, which are among the fastest-growing markets in the country with highly educated workforces, high household incomes and strong job growth. The Company’s strategy is to target shifting consumer behavior and purchasing patterns by creating a complementary mix of grocery, dining, health and wellness, education, services, entertainment and specialty retail in its properties. Whitestone’s national, regional and local tenants provide daily necessities, needed services and convenience to the community which are not readily available online. Whitestone is headquartered in Houston, Texas. “

WSR has been the topic of a number of other reports. B. Riley reissued a buy rating and issued a $15.00 price target on shares of Whitestone REIT in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. ValuEngine raised Whitestone REIT from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services reissued a hold rating on shares of Whitestone REIT in a research note on Thursday, November 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Whitestone REIT has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $14.75.

Shares of Whitestone REIT (NYSE WSR) traded down $0.14 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $13.64. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 224,030 shares, compared to its average volume of 319,216. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87. Whitestone REIT has a 12-month low of $10.80 and a 12-month high of $15.15. The firm has a market cap of $524.96, a price-to-earnings ratio of 80.24 and a beta of 1.02.

Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The real estate investment trust reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.26 by $0.07. Whitestone REIT had a return on equity of 2.22% and a net margin of 5.77%. The firm had revenue of $33.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.78 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.33 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 32.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Whitestone REIT will post 1.02 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 14th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 5th will be paid a $0.095 dividend. This represents a $1.14 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 8.36%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 2nd. Whitestone REIT’s dividend payout ratio is currently 670.59%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WSR. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of Whitestone REIT by 163.2% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 31,800 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $390,000 after purchasing an additional 19,717 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers lifted its stake in shares of Whitestone REIT by 27.1% in the 2nd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 48,325 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $592,000 after purchasing an additional 10,305 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in shares of Whitestone REIT by 20.4% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 326,832 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $4,004,000 after purchasing an additional 55,350 shares in the last quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Whitestone REIT in the 2nd quarter valued at about $858,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its stake in shares of Whitestone REIT by 14.0% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 96,492 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,182,000 after purchasing an additional 11,840 shares in the last quarter. 49.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Whitestone REIT

Whitestone REIT is a real estate investment trust. The Company is engaged in owning and operating commercial properties in culturally diverse markets in various metropolitan areas. The Company’s acquisition targets are located in densely populated, culturally diverse neighborhoods, primarily in and around Austin, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix and San Antonio.

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Analyst Recommendations for Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR)

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