David S. Winter and David J. Millstone‘s 40 North Management has raised its position in Columbia Property Trust Inc (NYSE:CXP), according to a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund reported ownership of 8.14 million shares, up from 4.01 million shares held earlier. The nature of the stake is activist and following the increase it amasses 6.51% of Columbia Property’s common stock.
40 North Management is a fund with a diversified equity portfolio valued at around $1.87 billion. It initiated a position in Columbia Property Trust Inc (NYSE:CXP) during the second quarter of 2013, and during the third quarter it raised the stake from 134,700 shares to 4.01 million shares. The stock lost around 3% over the last six months, but it appreciated by approximately 4% since the fund’s last increase in its position. A couple of days ago, the fund has also reported trimming its exposure to Mattress Firm Holding Corp (NASDAQ:MFRM) by 19,100 shares to 2.68 million shares. Both Mattress Firm Holding and Columbia Property Trust represent 40 North’s top long positions in terms of value.
Columbia Property Trust Inc (NYSE:CXP) is a commerical real estate investment trust, which acquires and manages commerical real estate properties with operating histories, as well as new constructions and properties under construction. Earlier today, we have reported about another fund that raised its stake in a REIT: Ken Griffin‘s Citadel Investment Group. Citadel raised its stake in residential REIT Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp (NYSE:SBY) to 1.88 million shares, from 1.71 million shares held previously.
Real Estate Investment Trusts are usually considered more as dividend plays, and among mid-cap commericial REITs, Columbia Property Trust Inc (NYSE:CXP)has one of the highest yields, of 4.70%. In addition, the company’s senior unsecured debt and issuer ratings have been recently upgraded by Moody’s to Baa2 from Baa3; the agency also mentioned the company’s improvement in asset quality and long-term growth profile.
Another fund betting on Columbia Property Trust Inc (NYSE:CXP) is Lee Ainslie‘s Maverick Capital, which has also raised its stake by 5% on the quarter to 4.23 million shares held at the end of September. In addition, Dmitry Balyasny‘s Balyasny Asset Management doubled its stake to 860,800 shares during the same period.
So with REITs being among hot stocks so far this year, with the S&P 500 Real Estate Investment Trust Composite returning around 23% versus the S&P 500 gains of 11%, should smaller investors also consider betting on this relatively cheap dividend plays, even though the majority of big funds do not allocate significant portions of their portfolios for this segment.