* Following CoreCivic Inc.'s recent move to reduce its quarterly dividend, Canaccord Genuity analyst Ryan Meliker upgraded the company to "buy" from "hold" and increased his per-share price target on the stock to $28 from $22.
Meliker attributed the upgrade to the removal of the dividend cut overhang, which he had projected to limit upside to the company's stock. He also expects CoreCivic to see opportunities for external growth under the Trump administration, saying the company could see substantive earnings growth and offset lost EBITDA through multiple expansion.
* Compass Point Research and Trading LLC analyst Steve Shaw launched coverage of Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. at "buy" and put a $21-per-share price target on the company's stock.
Shaw said in a Dec. 12 note that he believes the company's stock ushers investors into the cannabis sector with the safety of hard real-estate properties. He added that he expects the company, which pulled in gross proceeds of $67 million in its IPO, to close on its first property "in the next few weeks." He further posited that given political and practical restrictions, legal medicinal marijuana operations will likely be protected from possible fluctuations in federal policy under the Trump administration.
* Janney analyst Robert Stevenson downgraded Investors Real Estate Trust to "neutral," citing the stock's valuation.
In a Dec. 12 note, Stevenson said that since its Oct. 11 low, Investors Real Estate's stock price has seen a 14% run and underperformed the MSCI U.S. REIT Index's roughly 1.5% share price movement. He added that he no longer sees the stock as materially undervalued, despite the company's current common dividend yield of 8%, which he thinks is unsustainable.