Short Interest in Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW) Grows By 23.4%

Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW) saw a significant growth in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,640,000 shares, a growth of 23.4% from the January 15th total of 2,140,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 696,800 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.8 days. Currently, 2.6% of the shares of the company are sold short.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Great Lakes Advisors LLC increased its position in Highwoods Properties by 107.7% in the third quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC now owns 300,608 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $13,510,000 after buying an additional 155,874 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 3.1% in the third quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 174,163 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $7,827,000 after purchasing an additional 5,191 shares in the last quarter. 6 Meridian grew its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 6.9% in the third quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 12,275 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $552,000 after purchasing an additional 792 shares in the last quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC grew its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 877.0% in the third quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC now owns 51,050 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $2,294,000 after purchasing an additional 45,825 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp grew its position in shares of Highwoods Properties by 5.4% in the third quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 58,996 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $2,651,000 after purchasing an additional 3,001 shares in the last quarter. 94.82% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of brokerages recently commented on HIW. Janney Montgomery Scott downgraded Highwoods Properties from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price target for the company from $48.00 to $49.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 7th. ValuEngine raised Highwoods Properties from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 7th. Mizuho began coverage on Highwoods Properties in a research report on Tuesday, February 4th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $51.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Highwoods Properties from $44.00 to $47.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, December 13th. Finally, Capital One Financial reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Highwoods Properties in a research report on Monday, February 3rd. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.40.

NYSE:HIW opened at $52.31 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.96. The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $49.90 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $46.43. Highwoods Properties has a 1 year low of $40.75 and a 1 year high of $52.76. The company has a market capitalization of $5.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 40.24, a P/E/G ratio of 4.16 and a beta of 0.84.

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 4th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by ($0.32). Highwoods Properties had a return on equity of 6.31% and a net margin of 18.52%. The firm had revenue of $192.07 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $192.66 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.86 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts anticipate that Highwoods Properties will post 3.64 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 10th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 18th will be given a $0.48 dividend. This is an increase from Highwoods Properties’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.67%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 14th. Highwoods Properties’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 57.06%.

About Highwoods Properties

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

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