NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cousins Properties' (CUZ) stock rating was cut to "sell" from "hold" at Stifel on Thursday morning, the Fly reports.

The firm has a $9.50 price target on shares of the Atlanta-based real estate investment trust.

The downgrade is based on valuation. Stifel also believes that investors will lack information about different aspects of the REIT after it announced a spinoff of its Houston-based assets, the Fly noted.

Yesterday, Cousins Properties said it expects the closing of its previously announced merger with real estate investment trust Parkway Properties (PKY) to close on October 6.

As part of the deal, the companies will spinoff their Houston-based assets into a new publicly-traded REIT.

The firm also downgraded Parkway Properties to "sell" from "hold" this morning and reduced its price target to $15.50 from $18.50, the Fly added.

Shares of Cousins Properties closed higher on Wednesday. Parkway Properties stock is declining in pre-market trading today.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of B- on the stock.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity.

The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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: CUZ

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