Analysts Offer Insights on Financial Companies: Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT) and James River Group (NASDAQ: JRVR)

By Austin Angelo

Analysts have been eager to weigh in on the Financial sector with new ratings on Starwood Property Trust (STWDResearch Report), Hersha Hospitality Trust (HTResearch Report) and James River Group (JRVRResearch Report).

Starwood Property Trust (STWD)

B.Riley FBR analyst Timothy P. Hayes reiterated a Buy rating on Starwood Property Trust today and set a price target of $24. The company’s shares opened today at $22.44, close to its 52-week high of $23.04.

Hayes commented:

“We reiterate our Buy rating and $24 price target on shares of Starwood Property Trust (STWD) following strong 4Q18 results that beat B. Riley FBR and Street estimates and once again demonstrated the earnings power of Starwood’s multi-cylinder investment platform. During the quarter, Starwood deployed $2.7B of capital across all segments,(including $1.6B of CRE lending), contributed nearly $700M of loans across three conduit transactions, and completed its second non-QM securitization, establishing the company as a recurring player in the space. Looking ahead, we expect the company will be opportunistic with capital deployment, but will likely harvest gains in its real estate investment portfolio and redeploy capital into higher- yielding loan segments, albeit at a more modest pace.”

According to TipRanks.com, Hayes is a 4-star analyst with an average return of 9.2% and a 77.2% success rate. Hayes covers the Financial sector, focusing on stocks such as Saratoga Investment Corp, Capital Southwest Corp, and Cherry Hill Mortgage.

Currently, the analyst consensus on Starwood Property Trust is a Strong Buy with an average price target of $24.50, implying a 9.2% upside from current levels. In a report issued on February 25, BTIG also initiated coverage with a Buy rating on the stock with a $25 price target.

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Hersha Hospitality Trust (HT)

B.Riley FBR analyst Bryan Maher maintained a Hold rating on Hersha Hospitality Trust yesterday and set a price target of $19. The company’s shares opened today at $18.85.

Maher commented:

“Hersha Hospitality reported 4Q18 results that were largely above expectations as significant renovation and repositioning activity over the last few years has subsided. AFFO/share came in at $0.61, above our estimate of $0.58 and consensus estimate of $0.56. Adjusted EBITDA came in at $46.8M, also above our estimate of $44.8M and the consensus estimate of $44.9M. The company received approximately $1.5M of business interruption insurance in 4Q18, which was below the expected recovery of $2.0M. RevPAR growth at the company’s 37 comparable hotels was a healthy 2.8%, driven by ADR growth of 3.2%, offset by a 27-bps decline in occupancy.”

According to TipRanks.com, Maher is a 2-star analyst with an average return of 0.1% and a 52.0% success rate. Maher covers the Financial sector, focusing on stocks such as Office Properties Income Trust, Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc, and Community Healthcare Trust.

Currently, the analyst consensus on Hersha Hospitality Trust is a Moderate Sell with an average price target of $18.95, implying a 0.5% upside from current levels. In a report issued on February 27, Deutsche Bank also maintained a Hold rating on the stock with a $18 price target.

James River Group (JRVR)

B.Riley FBR analyst Randy Binner maintained a Hold rating on James River Group yesterday and set a price target of $38. The company’s shares opened today at $41.37.

Binner noted:

“We recently attended a meeting with JRVR management and came away with a number of updates. Overall, growth and expense management expectations are unchanged, with the Uber reserve uncertainty remaining an outstanding issue. We maintain our Neutral rating and $38 PT. *Close price on 2/28/19.”

According to TipRanks.com, Binner is a 5-star analyst with an average return of 13.6% and a 67.2% success rate. Binner covers the Financial sector, focusing on stocks such as American Equity Investment Life, Health Insurance Innovations, and National General Holdings.

The word on The Street in general, suggests a Moderate Buy analyst consensus rating for James River Group with a $41 average price target.

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