Piedmont Office Realty Trust (PDM) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Piedmont Office Realty Trust (NYSE:PDM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. is an integrated and self-managed real estate investment trust specializing in the acquisition, ownership, management and development of commercial real estate properties. That includes properties that are under construction, newly constructed, or have operating histories. The Company is primarily focused on high-quality Class A office buildings located in major U.S. markets and leased primarily to high-credit quality tenants. Major markets include: Washington, D.C., greater Los Angeles, the New York metropolitan area, Boston and Chicago. Piedmont conducts business primarily through Piedmont Operating Partnership, LP; a Delaware limited partnership, as well as performing the management of its buildings through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Piedmont Government Services, LLC and Piedmont Office Management, LLC. Piedmont OP owns a majority of its properties directly and a limited number through joint ventures with real estate limited partnerships with other third parties. “

Several other research analysts have also commented on PDM. SunTrust Banks raised shares of Piedmont Office Realty Trust from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, November 30th. Robert W. Baird lowered shares of Piedmont Office Realty Trust from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of Piedmont Office Realty Trust from a sell rating to a hold rating and lifted their price target for the company from $16.00 to $20.00 in a report on Thursday, February 7th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $22.33.

NYSE PDM opened at $20.28 on Wednesday. Piedmont Office Realty Trust has a one year low of $16.43 and a one year high of $20.94. The company has a quick ratio of 1.75, a current ratio of 1.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.55 billion, a PE ratio of 11.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 0.81.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust (NYSE:PDM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.35 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by ($0.09). Piedmont Office Realty Trust had a net margin of 24.77% and a return on equity of 7.47%. The business had revenue of $137.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $125.41 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.42 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Piedmont Office Realty Trust will post 1.78 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 28th were given a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 27th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.14%. Piedmont Office Realty Trust’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.55%.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of PDM. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Piedmont Office Realty Trust in the 4th quarter valued at about $25,879,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 40.1% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,916,158 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $55,203,000 after purchasing an additional 834,192 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 596.6% in the 4th quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 860,880 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $14,669,000 after purchasing an additional 737,295 shares during the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. lifted its position in Piedmont Office Realty Trust by 905.8% in the 4th quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 773,060 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $13,170,000 after purchasing an additional 696,196 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Matarin Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Piedmont Office Realty Trust in the 3rd quarter valued at about $9,193,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.09% of the company’s stock.

About Piedmont Office Realty Trust

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc (NYSE: PDM) is an owner, manager, developer, and operator of high-quality, Class A office properties in select sub-markets located primarily within eight major U.S. office markets. Its geographically-diversified, almost $5 billion portfolio is currently comprised of approximately 17 million square feet.

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