Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Sunday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Whitestone REIT is a fully integrated real estate investment trust that acquires, owns, manages, develops and redevelops high quality internet-resistant neighborhood, community and lifestyle retail centers. Whitestone’s properties are principally located in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Phoenix, which are among the fastest-growing markets in the country with highly educated workforces, high household incomes and strong job growth. The Company’s strategy is to target shifting consumer behavior and purchasing patterns by creating a complementary mix of grocery, dining, health and wellness, education, services, entertainment and specialty retail in its properties. Whitestone’s national, regional and local tenants provide daily necessities, needed services and convenience to the community which are not readily available online. Whitestone is headquartered in Houston, Texas. “

A number of other research firms also recently commented on WSR. B. Riley set a $13.00 price objective on Whitestone REIT and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. Maxim Group set a $15.00 price objective on Whitestone REIT and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, August 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $14.00.

NYSE WSR opened at $13.22 on Friday. Whitestone REIT has a 12 month low of $11.50 and a 12 month high of $14.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a current ratio of 1.75 and a quick ratio of 1.75. The firm has a market capitalization of $522.99 million, a PE ratio of 11.40 and a beta of 1.02. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $12.56 and its 200 day simple moving average is $12.53.

Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The real estate investment trust reported $0.06 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.23 by ($0.17). The firm had revenue of $29.58 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.16 million. Whitestone REIT had a return on equity of 6.19% and a net margin of 17.94%. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Whitestone REIT will post 0.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Whitestone REIT news, CEO James C. Mastandrea acquired 10,000 shares of Whitestone REIT stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 6th. The stock was bought at an average price of $12.64 per share, for a total transaction of $126,400.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,027,250 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,984,440. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 5.60% of the company’s stock.

About Whitestone REIT

Whitestone is a community-centered retail REIT that acquires, owns, manages, develops and redevelops high quality "E-Commerce resistant" neighborhood, community and lifestyle retail centers principally located in the largest, fastest growing and most affluent markets in the Sunbelt. Whitestone's optimal mix of national, regional and local tenants provides daily necessities, needed services and entertainment to the communities in which they are located.

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