NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- UBS downgraded Liberty Property Trust (LPT) to "neutral" from "buy" and set a $36 price target. The firm said the company is demonstrating lack of execution on acquisitions, development and internal growth.
The stock closed at $36.83 on Tuesday.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST (LPT) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 34.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 0.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $71.24 million to $71.90 million.
- LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST's earnings per share declined by 10.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $0.67 versus $0.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.02 versus $0.67).
- In its most recent trading session, LPT has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
- The gross profit margin for LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.38%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 35.19% has significantly outperformed against the industry average.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: LPT Ratings Report