St. Joe Co (JOE) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

St. Joe Co (NYSE:JOE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $21.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 11.11% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of St. Joe have outperformed its industry over the past month. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for third-quarter and current-year earnings remaining unchanged in two months’ time. Notably, the company has been making strategic efforts to enhance its leasing portfolio, while opting to sell commercial property selectively. As part of such efforts, during the first half of 2017, it increased its rentable space by 67,000 square feet with an additional 144,000 square feet of build-to-suit space under construction. Further, St. Joe is aimed at growing its resorts and leisure business. These portfolio rebalancing efforts are likely to help the company bolster its revenues and provide a more stable source of earnings. However, regional business concentration and revenue volatility in certain segments remain concerns.”

Separately, BidaskClub lowered St. Joe from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 16th.

Shares of St. Joe (JOE) traded down 0.79% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $18.75. 326,393 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a market cap of $1.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 67.20 and a beta of 0.87. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $18.71 and a 200 day moving average of $18.20. St. Joe has a 52-week low of $16.30 and a 52-week high of $21.90.

St. Joe (NYSE:JOE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The financial services provider reported $0.15 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $30.40 million for the quarter. St. Joe had a return on equity of 6.74% and a net margin of 34.93%. Analysts expect that St. Joe will post $0.25 EPS for the current year.

St. Joe declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, September 21st that authorizes the company to repurchase $66.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to purchase up to 5.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in JOE. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in St. Joe by 12,179.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,342,066 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $244,531,000 after acquiring an additional 14,225,271 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new position in St. Joe in the second quarter valued at approximately $184,654,000. Fairholme Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in St. Joe by 4.4% in the second quarter. Fairholme Capital Management LLC now owns 25,484,557 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $477,835,000 after acquiring an additional 1,083,400 shares during the period. Brandes Investment Partners LP lifted its holdings in St. Joe by 9.4% in the second quarter. Brandes Investment Partners LP now owns 2,034,434 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $38,153,000 after acquiring an additional 175,221 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in St. Joe by 20.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 934,180 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $17,516,000 after acquiring an additional 157,877 shares during the period. 96.70% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

St. Joe Company Profile

The St. Joe Company is a real estate development, asset management and operating company. The Company operates through five segments: residential real estate; commercial real estate; resorts and leisure; leasing operations, and forestry. Its residential real estate segment plans and develops primary residential and resort residential communities of various sizes on its existing land.

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