Cousins Properties Incorporated
) hit a new 52-week high touching $13.16 towards the end of the
trading session on Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014, thanks to increased
investors' expectation on the company's continued strategic
portfolio repositioning activity and strong second-quarter 2014
The closing price of $13.12 represents a solid year-to-date
return of 31.6%. The trading volume for the session was 1.84
Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)
stock has plenty of upside left, given the improving operating
environment, expected third-quarter 2014 earnings growth of 71.2%
and long-term growth of 8.9%. In addition, the company has recorded
a solid average earnings surprise of 10.0% in the last four
On Aug 8, Cousins Properties disclosed the successful
continuation of its restructuring plans, with the declaration of an
acquisition deal of buying two trophy office assets - Fifth Third
Centerin Charlotte, NC and Northpark Town Center in Atlanta, GA.
With the completion of both the acquisitions, Cousins Properties'
portfolio will stand among the five exclusive targeted sunbelt
markets across the U.S.
Moreover, late last month, Cousins Properties reported
second-quarter 2014 FFO (funds from operations) of 18 cents per
share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny and also
surpassing the year-ago figure by 6 cents. Robust revenue growth
aided the 50% year-over-year rise in FFO per share.
Notably, Cousins Properties is making dedicated efforts to
simplify its business by specifically targeting trophy assets and
opportunistic mixed-use developments in the best urban submarkets.
Also, the company aims towards maintaining a flexible balance sheet
with ample liquidity to not only capitalize on opportunistic
acquisitions but also leverage on improving market fundamentals and
raise operational efficiency.
Over the last 7 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year
2014 and 2015 FFO per share remained stable at 74 and 82 cents per
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from Cousins Properties, other REITs that reached 52-week
highs on Aug 19 include Avalonbay Communities Inc. (
), Duke Realty Corporation (
) and Public Storage (
Funds from operations, a widely accepted and reported measure
of REITs performance, are derived by adding depreciation,
amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.
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