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Why Is Cousins Properties (CUZ) Up 6.2% Since Last Earnings Report?

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Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read
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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Cousins Properties (CUZ). Shares have added about 6.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Cousins Properties due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Cousins Properties Q4 FFO & Revenues Lag Estimates

Cousins Properties’ fourth-quarter 2020 FFO per share of 68 cents misses the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a whisker. Moreover, the reported FFO figure was lower than the prior-year quarter’s 72 cents.

Moreover, rental property revenues for the quarter were $178.9 million, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $179.6 million. Also, on a year-over-year basis, rental property revenues for the quarter slipped 5.5%.

Quarterly results reflect a decline in same-property NOI. The company informed that its rent collection for the fourth quarter was 98.8%, including 99.2% from office tenants. In December, it collected 99.1% of its rents, including 99.4% from office tenants.

For 2020, the company reported FFO per share of $2.78, up 9.9% from the prior year’s $2.53. The reported figure, nonetheless, lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.80. Total revenues of $721.9 million increased 14.8% year over year.

Same-property NOI, on a cash basis, for 2020, inched up 0.7% from the year-ago period.

Quarter in Detail

Cousins Properties executed leases for 387,611 square feet of office space in the December-end quarter. Same-property NOI, on a cash basis, decreased 3.3% from the year-ago quarter. As of Dec 31, 2020, 92.7% of its same-property portfolio was leased, contracting 96 basis points (bps) from the end of the third quarter.

Nonetheless, second-generation net rent per square foot (cash basis) climbed 8.9%. Weighted average occupancy for the company’s same-property portfolio of 92.4% for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, increased 54 bps from the prior quarter.

In the reported quarter, Cousins Properties acquired a 329,000-sq-ft office asset, The RailYard, in Charlotte for $201 million.

The company exited the fourth quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $4.3 million compared with $15.6 million recorded as of Dec 31, 2019.


Cousins Properties expects 2021 FFO per share of $2.76-$2.86.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review flatlined during the past month.

VGM Scores

Currently, Cousins Properties has an average Growth Score of C, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a D. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Cousins Properties has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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