Is Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE: CUZ) Back In The Buying Zone?

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SSgA Funds Management, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE:CUZ). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Real Estate company by 1.68% to 7.13 million shares with purchase of 0.12 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 4.80% valued currently at $212.61 million. In addition, Northern Trust Investments, Inc.(. raised its holdings by 0.22 million to 3.24 million shares.

With over 0.64 million Cousins Properties Incorporated (CUZ) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $29.61 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $18.88 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 3.50% and its price on 07/17/20 gained nearly 1.86%. Currently, there are 147.42M common shares owned by the public and among those 147.41M shares have been available to trade.

An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 5 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for CUZ have a consensus price objective of $37.20. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $40.00 and a low of $36.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Cousins Properties Incorporated stock is 1.70 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 22.08% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock gain 17.75% over that period. But an upside of 25.98% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $37.00.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 45 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 21 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 104,253 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 24 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 115,894 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in Cousins Properties Incorporated are Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF. Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund owns 6.59 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $196.46 million. The company bought an additional 56200.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 4.43% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 16678.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 4.21 million shares valued at over $125.51 million and representing 2.83% of the shares outstanding. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF now owns shares totaling to 2.69% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE: CUZ) opened at $29.12, up $0.05 from a prior closing price of $29.07. However, the script later closed the day at $29.61, up 1.86%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 3.50% and -6.89% over the past three months. CUZ shares are trading -28.13% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -19.93% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $21.15 and touched a high of $42.99 over the same period. Currently, 0.64 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.24 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -0.05%, -1.15%, and -15.70% respectively.

Institutional ownership of Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE: CUZ) shares accounts for 98.60% of the company’s 147.42M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 49.25%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 52.16% and 0.57% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $4.32B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.94. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 15.55, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $1.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio at 0.43. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 3.04% over the week and 3.49% over the month.

Analysts forecast that Cousins Properties Incorporated (CUZ) will achieve an EPS of $0.13 for the current quarter, $0.13 for the next quarter and $0.68 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.12 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.15. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.32 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 53.80%, and -57.05% over the next financial year.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 5 brokerage firm advisors rate Cousins Properties Incorporated (CUZ) as a “Strong Buy” at a consensus score of 1.70. Specifically, 3 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 1 of the 5 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the CUZ, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Wells Fargo stated their Outperform rating for the stock in a research note on September 19, 2019, with the firm’s price target at $38-$42. Wells Fargo coverage for the Cousins Properties Incorporated (CUZ) stock in a research note released on April 20, 2018 offered a Market Perform rating with a price target of $9.50. BofA/Merrill was of a view on December 04, 2017 that the stock is Buy, while Stifel gave the stock Buy rating on August 01, 2017, issuing a price target of $8.50- $10.50. Robert W. Baird on their part issued Outperform rating on May 16, 2017.

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