NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- DDR's (DDR) stock price target was lifted to $19 from $17 at Jefferies on Thursday. The firm has a "hold" rating on the stock.

The Beachwood, OH-based real estate investment trust operates through shopping centers and loan investments.

The higher price target comes as the firm believes the overhang associated with the stock will fade over the next 12 months.

"The company has made meaningful progress over the past few years in selling off its weaker assets, improving the balance sheet, and simplifying the corporate structure by reducing the amount of joint ventures," the firm wrote in an analyst note.

But the REIT still has work to do regarding asset sales and deleveraging, which management is accelerating given the current opportunity in the market to do so, Jefferies said, noting there is a strong bid for assets that DDR is selling.

The net result is a higher-quality and less-risky portfolio and balance sheet, although at the expense of near-term funds from operations per share growth, the firm added.

"DDR screens cheap relative to the peers due to the uncertainty regarding the ongoing changes in the management team, the lack of near-term earnings growth, reduced visibility into future growth given the volume of dispositions / acquisitions and JV transactions, combined with concerns regarding Puerto Rico exposure (~11% of ABR) that have weighed on DDR's shares," Jefferies said.

Shares of DDR closed up 0.5% to $18.14 on Thursday.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Hold" rating with a score of C on the stock.

The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and revenue growth.

But the team also finds that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: DDR

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