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Stifel Nicolaus & Co. raises Cousins Properties to 'buy'

StifelNicolaus & Co. Inc. analyst John Guinee III raised his investmentopinion of Cousins PropertiesInc. to "buy" from "hold."

The analyst wrote in a research report: "We areupgrading Cousins Properties to Buy from Hold with a $10.50/sh target price as1) we expect value creation will ramp over the coming quarters with over $500mmof development delivering between 2Q17 and YE18, 2) including recent and pendingdispositions, Cousins' 12.8mm SF portfolio (ex Orlando) is relatively small,but high quality, and located largely in the best urban Sunbelt submarkets, 3)low leverage, even for a development-oriented firm, at 3.9x net debt/EBITDA and4) we believe Cousins and Highwoods Properties together may reap the lion'sshare of build-to-suit opportunities in the major Sunbelt markets for theforeseeable future, continuously back-filling their development pipelines withrelatively low risk, NAV accretive developments."