Short Interest in Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HIW) Increases By 28.3%


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Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HIW) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 2,400,000 shares, an increase of 28.3% from the March 31st total of 1,870,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 946,700 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.5 days. Currently, 2.3% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Convergence Investment Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Highwoods Properties during the first quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Van ECK Associates Corp grew its holdings in Highwoods Properties by 23.5% during the 3rd quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 3,120 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $105,000 after purchasing an additional 593 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in Highwoods Properties by 2,381.5% during the 1st quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,350 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $144,000 after purchasing an additional 3,215 shares in the last quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in Highwoods Properties during the 4th quarter valued at $152,000. Finally, Neo Ivy Capital Management acquired a new stake in Highwoods Properties during the 4th quarter valued at $155,000. 93.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on HIW. Mizuho boosted their price target on shares of Highwoods Properties from $41.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 22nd. Robert W. Baird lowered shares of Highwoods Properties from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $40.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, January 7th. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of Highwoods Properties from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 22nd. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded shares of Highwoods Properties from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Highwoods Properties has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $43.83.

HIW traded up $0.41 on Tuesday, hitting $45.35. 607,160 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 908,164. Highwoods Properties has a fifty-two week low of $29.18 and a fifty-two week high of $45.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.07, a quick ratio of 1.37 and a current ratio of 1.37. The business’s fifty day moving average is $43.54 and its 200 day moving average is $39.50.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.87 by ($0.35). Highwoods Properties had a net margin of 43.16% and a return on equity of 14.22%. Analysts forecast that Highwoods Properties will post 3.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 17th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.23%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 14th. Highwoods Properties’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 57.66%.

About Highwoods Properties

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

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