QTS Realty Trust (QTS) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of QTS Realty Trust (NYSE:QTS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “QTS Realty Trust Inc. is a real estate investment trust. It is an owner, developer and operator of carrier-neutral, multi-tenant data centers. QTS’s data centers are facilities that house the network and computer equipment of multiple customers and provide access to a range of communications carriers. The Company refers to its spectrum of core data center products as its 3Cs which consists of Custom Data Center, Colocation and Cloud and Managed Services. QTS Realty Trust Inc. is headquartered in Kansas, United States. “

QTS has been the topic of several other reports. Credit Suisse Group set a $55.00 price target on shares of QTS Realty Trust and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Jefferies Group lowered their target price on shares of QTS Realty Trust from $71.00 to $65.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Monday, November 20th. SunTrust Banks raised their target price on shares of QTS Realty Trust from $62.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. TheStreet raised shares of QTS Realty Trust from a c rating to a b- rating in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co raised their target price on shares of QTS Realty Trust from $62.50 to $63.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $59.00.

Shares of QTS Realty Trust (NYSE QTS) traded up $0.40 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $53.55. 279,276 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 365,435. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a current ratio of 0.84. The company has a market cap of $2,720.00, a PE ratio of 148.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.95 and a beta of 0.44. QTS Realty Trust has a 12 month low of $46.32 and a 12 month high of $61.55.

QTS Realty Trust (NYSE:QTS) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.11 by $0.59. The company had revenue of $113.77 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $113.64 million. QTS Realty Trust had a net margin of 4.67% and a return on equity of 2.10%. QTS Realty Trust’s quarterly revenue was up 10.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.67 EPS. research analysts anticipate that QTS Realty Trust will post 2.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 5th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 5th were given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 4th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.91%. QTS Realty Trust’s dividend payout ratio is 433.33%.

In other news, EVP William H. Schafer sold 12,500 shares of QTS Realty Trust stock in a transaction on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.46, for a total transaction of $680,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel T. Bennewitz sold 9,144 shares of QTS Realty Trust stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.46, for a total transaction of $525,414.24. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 58,624 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,368,535.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 37,201 shares of company stock worth $2,112,933 in the last quarter. 17.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC bought a new position in QTS Realty Trust during the second quarter worth $48,171,000. APG Asset Management US Inc. bought a new position in QTS Realty Trust during the third quarter worth $32,725,000. PGGM Investments bought a new position in QTS Realty Trust during the third quarter worth $21,991,000. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP bought a new position in QTS Realty Trust during the second quarter worth $19,971,000. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in QTS Realty Trust by 141.8% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 645,265 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $33,785,000 after buying an additional 378,397 shares during the last quarter.

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About QTS Realty Trust

QTS Realty Trust, Inc (QTS) is a provider of secure, compliant data center solutions, hybrid cloud and fully managed services. The Company owns, develops and operates carrier-neutral and multi-tenant data centers. Its data centers are facilities that house the network and computer equipment of multiple customers and provide access to a range of communications carriers.

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