LaSalle Hotel Properties (LHO) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Lasalle Hotel Properties, which intends to operate as a real estate investment trust for federal income tax purposes, has been formed to own hotel properties and to continue and expand the hotel investment activities of LaSalle Partners Incorporated and certain of its affiliates collectively, LaSalle. LaSalle is an institutionally respected real estate services and investment firm which has extensive experience in the acquisition, investment management, finance, development and disposition of hotel properties. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on LHO. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties in a research note on Sunday, June 26th. TheStreet upgraded shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 18th. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $26.00 to $25.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. Barclays PLC set a $25.00 price objective on shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. Finally, Citigroup Inc. boosted their price objective on shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties from $23.00 to $27.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. LaSalle Hotel Properties presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $26.85.

Analyst Recommendations for LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO)

Shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO) opened at 24.55 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $25.07 and its 200-day moving average is $24.93. LaSalle Hotel Properties has a 12 month low of $19.01 and a 12 month high of $32.10. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.78 billion, a PE ratio of 21.54 and a beta of 1.35.

LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.95 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95. LaSalle Hotel Properties had a net margin of 11.54% and a return on equity of 6.51%. The business had revenue of $351.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $344.43 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.91 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that LaSalle Hotel Properties will post $2.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 17th. Investors of record on Friday, September 30th were given a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.33%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 28th. LaSalle Hotel Properties’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 157.90%.

In related news, insider Michael D. Barnello sold 150,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.49, for a total transaction of $4,273,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Alfred L. Young sold 17,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.11, for a total transaction of $477,870.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 90,024 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,530,574.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.54% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of LHO. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties by 5.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,532,161 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $413,409,000 after buying an additional 930,029 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties by 1.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 6,052,067 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $142,708,000 after buying an additional 96,232 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties by 0.8% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,564,566 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $131,213,000 after buying an additional 41,719 shares during the period. Shinko Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its stake in shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties by 7.4% in the second quarter. Shinko Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 5,236,386 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $123,474,000 after buying an additional 359,170 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties by 1.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 4,761,233 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $120,507,000 after buying an additional 67,769 shares during the period.

LaSalle Hotel Properties Company Profile

Lasalle Hotel Properties is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company primarily buys, owns, redevelops and leases upscale and luxury hotels located in convention, resort and urban business markets. The Company owns interest in approximately 50 hotels with over 12,000 guest rooms located in approximately 10 states and the District of Columbia.

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