Zacks Investment Research Lowers Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Hersha Hospitality Trust is an entrepreneurial, high-growth real estate development and management company focussed on the hospitality industry. Hersha currently owns, operates, and develops a portfolio of hotels and assisted living facilities in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. (PRESS RELEASE) “

Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on HT. ValuEngine upgraded Hersha Hospitality Trust from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, December 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co lowered their target price on Hersha Hospitality Trust from $13.50 to $12.50 and set an underperform rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 18th. Deutsche Bank reiterated a hold rating and issued a $14.00 target price on shares of Hersha Hospitality Trust in a report on Tuesday, November 12th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a sell rating and issued a $12.50 target price on shares of Hersha Hospitality Trust in a report on Wednesday, November 6th. Finally, Barclays reiterated a sell rating and issued a $14.00 target price on shares of Hersha Hospitality Trust in a report on Friday, November 22nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $14.67.

Shares of HT stock opened at $13.65 on Friday. Hersha Hospitality Trust has a twelve month low of $13.00 and a twelve month high of $20.38. The stock has a market capitalization of $525.68 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.20, a P/E/G ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 1.29. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $14.16 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $14.71. The company has a current ratio of 0.46, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28.

Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, November 5th. The real estate investment trust reported ($0.15) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by ($0.67). Hersha Hospitality Trust had a return on equity of 0.21% and a net margin of 0.36%. The firm had revenue of $135.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $135.62 million. Research analysts predict that Hersha Hospitality Trust will post 1.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Investors of record on Friday, January 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.28 per share. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.21%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 2nd. Hersha Hospitality Trust’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 50.91%.

In related news, Director Thomas J. Hutchison III sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.45, for a total transaction of $144,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 80,492 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,163,109.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman Hasu P. Shah acquired 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 12th. The shares were bought at an average price of $14.09 per share, with a total value of $49,315.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have purchased a total of 19,206 shares of company stock valued at $259,157 over the last 90 days. 11.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HT. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Hersha Hospitality Trust by 407.2% in the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 308,332 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $5,285,000 after buying an additional 247,542 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in shares of Hersha Hospitality Trust by 4.2% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 244,390 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $4,059,000 after purchasing an additional 9,785 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can increased its holdings in shares of Hersha Hospitality Trust by 121.9% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 5,126 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $85,000 after purchasing an additional 2,816 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Hersha Hospitality Trust by 16.2% in the second quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 755,686 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $12,500,000 after purchasing an additional 105,163 shares during the period. Finally, Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Hersha Hospitality Trust in the second quarter valued at about $61,000. Institutional investors own 93.22% of the company’s stock.

About Hersha Hospitality Trust

Hersha Hospitality Trust (HT) is a self-advised real estate investment trust in the hospitality sector, which owns and operates high quality upscale, luxury and lifestyle hotels in urban gateway markets and coastal destinations. The Company's 48 hotels totaling 7,644 rooms are located in New York, Washington, DC, Boston, Philadelphia, South Florida and select markets on the West Coast.

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