UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-Stifel raises 9 REITs to buy
June 17 (Reuters) - Stifel Nicolaus took a bullish stance on nine real estate investment trusts (REIT), including Weingarten Realty Investors (WRI.N), National Retail Properties Inc (NNN.N) and CBL & Associates Properties Inc (CBL.N), by upgrading them to "buy" from "hold".
"We expect REITs to remain defensive, possibly finishing negative for 2008, but outperforming the S&P 500," analyst David Fick said in a research note.
"Short covering could provide a catalyst for the group," he added.
The brokerage said Weingarten Realty will likely continue to face challenges in 2008, but also cited the history of the company management succeeding through many past economic cycles, including the more severe Texas economic downturn.
On National Retail Properties, Fick said the company's margins would be hurt by the weakening economy, but "there will be little impact on earnings."
The following table lists the nine companies that were raised to "buy" and Stifel's price targets on them:
COMPANY TARGET PRICE
Weingarten Realty (WRI.N) $37
National Retail Properties (NNN.N) $24
CBL & Associates Properties (CBL.N) $29
Pennsylvania REIT (PEI.N) $34
Cedar Shopping Centers (CDR.N) $14
Glimcher Realty Trust (GRT.N) $17
Ramco-Gershenson Properties (RPT.N) $26
Kite Realty Group Trust (KRG.N) $15
Capital Lease Funding (LSE.N) $9 (Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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