Ventas, Inc. (VTR) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Ventas underperformed the Zacks categorized REIT and Equity Trust – Other industry over the past 3 months. But, its 2017 estimates moved up over the past 7 days, indicating that there may be a reversal in the price movement. Recently, Ventas acquired a high-quality life science, research and medical campus in Providence, Rhode Island from affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII L.P. This acquisition not only enhances Ventas’ portfolio but also strengthens its partnerships with top research universities. Also, the company closed the secured debt financing of $700 million for Ardent Health Services’ acquisition of LHP Hospital. Ventas’ large and diversified healthcare portfolio is expected to help it benefit from an increasing healthcare spending, aging population and a rise in insured individuals. But, earnings dilutive impact of disposition, stiff competition and rise in interest rate are concerns.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on VTR. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Ventas in a report on Tuesday, January 31st. BMO Capital Markets lowered Ventas from a market perform rating to an underperform rating in a report on Tuesday, January 31st. Evercore ISI lowered Ventas from a hold rating to an underperform rating in a report on Friday, March 3rd. Mizuho lowered Ventas from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $63.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Monday, November 21st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc lowered Ventas from a neutral rating to a sell rating and set a $56.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, March 15th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and ten have assigned a hold rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $62.44.

Shares of Ventas (NYSE:VTR) opened at 60.53 on Wednesday. Ventas has a 52 week low of $56.20 and a 52 week high of $76.80. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $62.09 and its 200-day moving average price is $64.12. The company has a market capitalization of $21.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.60 and a beta of 0.08.

Ventas (NYSE:VTR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 10th. The real estate investment trust reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.01. Ventas had a return on equity of 6.42% and a net margin of 18.85%. The company had revenue of $875.70 million for the quarter. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.37 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.1% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Ventas will post $1.70 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 31st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.775 per share. This represents a $3.10 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 3rd. Ventas’s payout ratio is 166.67%.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Martingale Asset Management L P raised its position in Ventas by 364.1% in the fourth quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 360,151 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $22,518,000 after buying an additional 282,552 shares in the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. raised its position in Ventas by 1.5% in the third quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 293,975 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $20,763,000 after buying an additional 4,338 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD raised its position in Ventas by 5.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 5,192,697 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $366,760,000 after buying an additional 288,078 shares in the last quarter. River Road Asset Management LLC raised its position in Ventas by 1.4% in the third quarter. River Road Asset Management LLC now owns 997,218 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $70,434,000 after buying an additional 14,060 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in Ventas by 266.2% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 261,102 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $16,324,000 after buying an additional 189,802 shares in the last quarter. 91.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Ventas

Ventas, Inc is a healthcare real estate investment trust (REIT) with its properties located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: triple-net leased properties, senior living operations and MOB operations. In its triple-net leased properties segment, the Company acquires and owns seniors housing and healthcare properties throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.

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