Retail Opportunity Investments (ROIC) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Retail Opportunity Investments (NASDAQ:ROIC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. is a corporation that intends to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal incoming tax purposes and that expects to invest in, acquire, own, lease, reposition and manage a diverse portfolio of necessity-based retail properties. This includes primarily, well located community and neighborhood shopping centers, anchored by national or regional supermarkets and drugstores. The company may also acquire other retail properties, including power centers, regional malls lifestyle centers and single-tenant retail locations that are leased to national, regional and local tenants. In addition, the Company may supplement its direct purchases of retail properties with first mortgages or second mortgages, mezzanine loans, bridge or other loans or debt investments related to retail properties, in each case provided that the underlying real estate meets the Company’s criteria for direct investment. “

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and set a $18.00 price objective on shares of Retail Opportunity Investments in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. BidaskClub cut shares of Retail Opportunity Investments from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, January 4th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. Retail Opportunity Investments presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $18.00.

Shares of ROIC opened at $17.23 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13, a current ratio of 3.51 and a quick ratio of 3.51. Retail Opportunity Investments has a 1-year low of $15.44 and a 1-year high of $19.80. The company has a market cap of $1.97 billion, a PE ratio of 15.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.64 and a beta of 0.72.

Retail Opportunity Investments (NASDAQ:ROIC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 19th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.29 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.29. Retail Opportunity Investments had a net margin of 14.45% and a return on equity of 3.25%. The business had revenue of $75.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $74.43 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.30 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Retail Opportunity Investments will post 1.14 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 28th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 14th were paid a $0.197 dividend. This is a boost from Retail Opportunity Investments’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $0.79 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.57%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 13th. Retail Opportunity Investments’s payout ratio is presently 69.30%.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Retail Opportunity Investments in the 1st quarter worth approximately $92,000. First Hawaiian Bank purchased a new stake in Retail Opportunity Investments in the 1st quarter worth approximately $32,000. Deutsche Bank AG grew its stake in Retail Opportunity Investments by 113.7% in the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 549,980 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $8,731,000 after acquiring an additional 292,585 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Retail Opportunity Investments by 9.5% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,602,715 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $25,451,000 after acquiring an additional 138,664 shares during the period. Finally, Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Retail Opportunity Investments in the 4th quarter worth approximately $20,652,000. 94.08% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Retail Opportunity Investments

Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. (NASDAQ: ROIC), is a fully-integrated, self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) that specializes in the acquisition, ownership and management of grocery-anchored shopping centers located in densely-populated, metropolitan markets across the West Coast. As of December 31, 2018, ROIC owned 91 shopping centers encompassing approximately 10.5 million square feet.

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