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Plum Creek: REIT Broker Action

Lexington Realty Trust

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Lexington Realty Trust (LXP)

Company Profile : New York City-based Lexington Realty Trust is a self-managed and self-administered Maryland statutory real estate investment trust which acquires, owns, and manages a diversified portfolio of net leased office, industrial and retail properties.

Lexington Realty Trust was upgraded to overweight from neutral by Paolone, who set a $10 price target on LXP shares.

Paolone upgraded the stock based on his view that "management has made progress with its balance sheet (debt maturities are essentially a non-issue at this point), the company's portfolio has performed well, and we believe the company could see an outsized dividend increase in 2011 -- on top of what is already an above-average dividend from both a yield (5.8%) and payout ratio (about 50%) perspective."

He added that "we think the potential sale of its Inland joint venture assets could provide significant cash to reinvest in the business, and also the sale of non-core assets should improve portfolio quality. Also important is the simple fact that the stock appears cheap."

Lexington Realty was recently listed on TheStreet's list of 10 Top Buy-Rated Real Estate Stocks for 2011 .

Analysts from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods tapped the stock, along with Alexandria Real Estate (ARE - Get Report), as REITs poised to benefit as restrictive lending for new construction and little new supply help the office and industrial REIT subsector rebound at a relatively quicker pace.

Last fall Lexington Realty increased its dividend by 15% to 11.5 cents per share . The higher dividend was paid today to holders of record on Dec. 31, bringing LXP's yield to around 5.7%.

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