Cousins Buys Land in Atlanta, To Develop Norfolk Southern HQ

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Cousins Properties Inc. CUZ has purchased a land for developing Norfolk Southern Corp. Midtown headquarters, according to a report from Atlanta Business Chronicle. The nearly three-acre site is located at West Peachtree Street, 3rd Street and Ponce De Leon Avenue in Midtown's Technology Square.

Cousins Properties will develop a 1.4-million-square-foot project for the transportation company. It will include 1.3 million square feet of office space and about 12,000 square feet for retail space, per the plans filed by the company with the city of Atlanta and the state, through its Development of Regional Impact (DRI) program.

Cousins Properties has already earned its reputation for being a top notch office landlord in Atlanta. Earlier, the company also built the headquarters for NCR Corp. (NCR) in Midtown Atlanta. Such moves boost the company's trophy assets in Atlanta's leading technology district.

Moreover, the company's unmatched portfolio of Class A office assets, located in the Sun Belt markets, augurs well for long-term growth. Particularly, robust fundamental of the office real estate market in the Sun Belt region has enabled the company to enjoy strong rent growth. Further, opportunistic developments in the best sub-markets keep us optimistic. Also, as the economy revives and job market improves, growth in demand for office space is likely to increase. This will likely result in higher net absorption for the company's portfolio.

Last month, Cousins Properties came up with a third-quarter 2018 funds from operations (FFO) per share of 16 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a whisker. Furthermore, the figure came in higher than the prior-year tally of 15 cents. The company's third-quarter total revenue figure recorded year-over-year growth. This boosted increment in same-property cash net operating income.

Cousins Properties currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Although, the company's shares have edged down 0.2% in the past month, as against the industry 's rally of 5.3%, the current price offers a good entry point.

Other Stocks to Consider

Similarly-ranked stocks from the same space are Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. ARE , PS Business Parks, Inc. PSB and Boston Properties, Inc. BXP . You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Alexandria Real Estate Equities' FFO per share estimates for 2018 has been revised marginally upward to $6.61 in 60 days' time.

PS Business Parks' Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 FFO per share moved up 1.3% to $6.45 in the last month.

Boston Properties' FFO per share estimates for 2018 has been revised marginally north to $6.38 in 30 days' time.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) - a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: ARE , BXP , CUZ , PSB

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