Zacks Investment Research Lowers Ashford Hospitality Trust (AHT) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE:AHT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc is a self advised Maryland corporation and real estate investment trust organized to pursue opportunities in the lodging industry. Initial assets consist of six hotels comprised of four Embassy Suites and two Radisson properties as well as eight asset management and consulting agreements. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on AHT. B. Riley reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $7.50 price target on shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. ValuEngine raised shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a hold rating and set a $7.00 target price on shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $7.42.

Shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE AHT) traded up $0.01 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $6.70. 572,800 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 482,486. The firm has a market capitalization of $652.69, a PE ratio of -4.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a current ratio of 3.94, a quick ratio of 3.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.29. Ashford Hospitality Trust has a 1 year low of $5.68 and a 1 year high of $8.23.

Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE:AHT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.30 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.32 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $353.33 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $360.10 million. Ashford Hospitality Trust had a negative net margin of 5.61% and a negative return on equity of 10.79%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.40 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Ashford Hospitality Trust will post 1.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ashford Hospitality Trust declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Monday, December 11th that permits the company to buyback $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the real estate investment trust to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 29th will be given a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 7.16%. Ashford Hospitality Trust’s payout ratio is currently -34.04%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AHT. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust by 30.3% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,301,506 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $7,914,000 after purchasing an additional 302,950 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust by 6.5% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 867,559 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $5,275,000 after purchasing an additional 53,201 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust by 2.9% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 44,198 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $269,000 after buying an additional 1,258 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust in the second quarter worth $365,000. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust by 2.0% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,094,041 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $30,972,000 after buying an additional 99,643 shares during the last quarter. 71.01% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Ashford Hospitality Trust

Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc is an externally-advised real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is focused on investing in the hospitality industry with a focus on full-service upscale and upper-upscale hotels in the United States. The Company owns its lodging investments and conducts its business through Ashford Hospitality Limited Partnership (Ashford Trust OP), its operating partnership.

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