Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Welltower Inc. (HCN) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Welltower Inc. (HCN) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Welltower Inc. (NYSE:HCN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Quarter to date, shares of Welltower underperformed the Zacks-categorized REIT – Equity Trust – Other industry. The recent rate hike is a concern before the company because of its high exposure to long-term leased assets. Moreover, intense competition limits the company’s power to raise its top line and ink deals at attractive rates. Further, its aggressive disposition of properties has earnings-dilutive effects. However, the company’s diversified portfolio and strategic investments have the capability to serve as growth drivers for Welltower. In addition, a rise in senior citizen spending for healthcare reasons promises solid prospects.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on HCN. Wells Fargo & Co. restated a buy rating on shares of Welltower in a research report on Sunday, September 4th. BTIG Research started coverage on shares of Welltower in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a neutral rating for the company. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating and issued a $86.00 target price on shares of Welltower in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Stephens started coverage on shares of Welltower in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. They issued an overweight rating and a $86.00 target price for the company. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a sell rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Welltower in a research report on Wednesday, November 2nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. Welltower currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $73.21.

Shares of Welltower (NYSE:HCN) opened at 65.51 on Wednesday. Welltower has a 12 month low of $52.80 and a 12 month high of $80.19. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.75 billion, a PE ratio of 28.90 and a beta of 0.20. The company’s 50-day moving average is $63.92 and its 200-day moving average is $71.83.

Welltower (NYSE:HCN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The real estate investment trust reported $1.16 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.01. The business earned $1.08 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.05 billion. Welltower had a net margin of 20.74% and a return on equity of 6.37%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.12 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Welltower will post $2.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Timothy J. Naughton purchased 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 10th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $60.69 per share, for a total transaction of $121,380.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 9,158 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $555,799.02. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Scott A. Estes sold 3,192 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.11, for a total transaction of $236,559.12. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 133,126 shares in the company, valued at $9,865,967.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.29% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Lasalle Investment Management Securities LLC raised its stake in Welltower by 5.2% in the third quarter. Lasalle Investment Management Securities LLC now owns 10,129,221 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $757,362,000 after buying an additional 498,032 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in Welltower by 0.8% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 8,671,043 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $648,335,000 after buying an additional 67,025 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Welltower by 7.1% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 7,081,922 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $529,515,000 after buying an additional 471,935 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its position in Welltower by 3.6% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 5,645,082 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $422,083,000 after buying an additional 194,592 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its position in Welltower by 0.6% in the third quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 4,939,853 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $369,352,000 after buying an additional 27,775 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.67% of the company’s stock.

Welltower Company Profile

Welltower Inc, formerly Health Care REIT, Inc, is a provider of healthcare infrastructure. The Company operates through three segments: triple-net, which includes independent living facilities, independent supportive living facilities (Canada), continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities, care homes with and without nursing (United Kingdom), Alzheimer’s/dementia care facilities, long-term/post-acute care facilities and hospitals; seniors housing operating, which includes a range of facility types, including independent living facilities and independent supportive living facilities, assisted living facilities, care homes and Alzheimer’s/dementia care facilities, and outpatient medical, which includes outpatient medical buildings.

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