Geo Group (GEO) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Geo Group (NYSE:GEO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “The GEO Group, Inc. is an equity real estate investment trust. It specializes in the design, development, financing and operation of correctional, detention and community reentry facilities. It has operations in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. The GEO Group, Inc. is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. “

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Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Geo Group in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. ValuEngine lowered Geo Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.00.

Shares of GEO stock opened at $22.08 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.13, a quick ratio of 1.57 and a current ratio of 1.57. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,756.03, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.66, a PEG ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.27. Geo Group has a fifty-two week low of $19.05 and a fifty-two week high of $34.32.

Geo Group (NYSE:GEO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $568.98 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $558.72 million. Geo Group had a return on equity of 13.95% and a net margin of 6.46%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.41 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Geo Group will post 1.95 EPS for the current year.

Geo Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Wednesday, February 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase $200.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the real estate investment trust to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of Geo Group by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 3,456,277 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $92,974,000 after acquiring an additional 29,070 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in shares of Geo Group by 2.7% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 298,828 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $8,038,000 after acquiring an additional 7,828 shares during the last quarter. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Geo Group in the 4th quarter worth $265,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its stake in shares of Geo Group by 757.8% in the 3rd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 75,862 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,041,000 after acquiring an additional 67,018 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System increased its stake in shares of Geo Group by 27.0% in the 4th quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 89,275 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,107,000 after acquiring an additional 18,974 shares during the last quarter. 94.21% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Geo Group

The GEO Group, Inc (NYSE: GEO) is the first fully integrated equity real estate investment trust specializing in the design, financing, development, and operation of correctional, detention, and community reentry facilities around the globe. GEO is the world's leading provider of diversified correctional, detention, community reentry, and electronic monitoring services to government agencies worldwide with operations in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

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