iStar (NYSE:STAR) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of iStar (NYSE:STAR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $20.00 price target on the real estate investment trust’s stock.

According to Zacks, “iStar Financial Inc. is the leading publicly traded finance company focused on the commercial real estate industry. The company, which is taxed as a real estate investment trust, provides structured mortgage, mezzanine and lease financing through its origination, acquisition and servicing platform. The company’s mission is to maximize risk-adjusted returns on equity by providing innovative and value-added financing solutions to private and corporate owners of real estate nationwide. (PRESS RELEASE) “

Separately, Raymond James upped their target price on iStar from $19.00 to $25.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 3rd.

STAR stock opened at $18.35 on Thursday. iStar has a twelve month low of $11.10 and a twelve month high of $18.86. The company has a market capitalization of $1.34 billion, a PE ratio of -30.08 and a beta of 0.71. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.13, a current ratio of 1.63 and a quick ratio of 1.63. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $17.87.

iStar (NYSE:STAR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 29th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.16) by $0.46. iStar had a negative net margin of 4.55% and a negative return on equity of 1.98%. Equities research analysts forecast that iStar will post -0.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 1st will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.72%. This is an increase from iStar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 28th. iStar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -57.47%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. UBS Group AG increased its stake in iStar by 7.6% in the 1st quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 7,531,891 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $133,917,000 after buying an additional 533,835 shares during the period. Nut Tree Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in shares of iStar in the 4th quarter worth $29,700,000. Jefferies Group LLC grew its position in shares of iStar by 9.5% during the 4th quarter. Jefferies Group LLC now owns 1,586,483 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $23,559,000 after buying an additional 137,212 shares in the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. raised its holdings in shares of iStar by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 1,030,648 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $15,305,000 after acquiring an additional 13,477 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of iStar in the 4th quarter valued at about $13,519,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.92% of the company’s stock.

iStar Company Profile

iStar Inc (NYSE: STAR) is focused on reinventing the ground lease sector, unlocking value for real estate owners throughout the country by providing modern, more efficient ground leases on all types of properties. As the founder, investment manager and largest shareholder of Safehold Inc (NYSE: SAFE), the first publicly traded company to focus on modern ground leases, iStar is helping create a logical new approach to the way real estate is owned, and continues to use its historic strengths in finance and net lease to expand this unique platform.

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