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Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP downgrades GGP Inc. to 'hold'

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Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP downgrades GGP Inc. to 'hold'

Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP analyst downgraded his investment opinion of GGP Inc. to "hold" from "buy."Goldfarb increased his 2017 FFO-per-share estimate to $1.60 from $1.53.

The analyst wrote in a research report: "Given it israre to have a management team publicly announce exploring strategic options,we believed management was serious based on the NAV discount and frustrationthat quarterly results weren't being reflected in the stock performance. Ingeneral, these sorts of strategic decisions are only publicly discussed when adeal is imminent. We don't understand why the comments were made on the 1Q17call and then find it hard to believe that the whole process completed soquickly. Whether GGP received a low-ball bid for the whole, bids only for thebest assets, or its ~35% owner Brookfield didn't want to transact, we don'tknow. But what we do know is that there is no more assumption that NAVdiscounts will prove supportive for the retail REITs. Thus, without this pillarand given the growing concern over 2H17 store closings in general (Ascena,etc.), we downgrade to HOLD."