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Cousins Properties on Growth Track with Restructuring Efforts

Zacks Equity Research

Cousins Properties Inc. (CUZ) is making dedicated efforts to simplify its business by specifically targeting trophy assets and opportunistic mixed-use developments in the best urban submarkets.

Moreover, the company focuses on increasing the value of its current portfolio by inking long-term lease deals with high-end tenants. Notably, the pre-leasing deal with Earth Fare for Emory Point Phase II, inked in May, reflects the strong demand for the company’s assets. Also, Cousins Properties aims towards maintaining a flexible balance sheet with ample liquidity to not only capitalize on opportunistic acquisitions but also leverage on improving market fundamentals and raise operational efficiency.

In May, fueled by a significant rise in revenues, Cousins Properties reported an earnings surprise of 11.8% for first-quarter 2014. In particular, the company reported FFO of 19 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents as well as the year-ago figure by 8 cents.

However, stiff competition and sluggish office space demand due to adequate space availability exerts pressure on rent and occupancies. Also, increasing Internet sales that adversely impact the demand for the company’s retail space could limit its growth prospects.

For deeper insight into Cousins Properties, you can refer to our updated research report, which was issued on Jul 16, 2014.

Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for FFO per share for both 2014 and 2015 moved up by a penny and 2 cents to 73 cents and 80 cents per share, respectively. Consequently, this real estate investment trust (:REIT) currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Other better-ranked stocks are Aviv REIT, Inc. (AVIV), W. P. Carey Inc. (WPC) and FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated (FCH). All stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Note: FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

Read the Full Research Report on CUZ
Read the Full Research Report on AVIV
Read the Full Research Report on FCH
Read the Full Research Report on WPC

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