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Kimco's recent success leads to analyst ratings drop

Milton Cooper, Kimco Realty Corp.'s founder, is being

Milton Cooper, Kimco Realty Corp.'s founder, is being replaced as chief executive as of Dec. 31. He will stay on as board executive chairman. Photo Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile

An investment analyst with the financial services firm UBS has downgraded his rating on shares of Kimco Realty Trust, from "buy" to "neutral."

The rating change came after UBS analyst Ross T. Nussbaum said recent gains in the share price had brought it close to his target of $20.

The analyst said investors recognized the New Hyde Park company's improved balance sheet, better property characteristics like rent and occupancy than its peers and sales of noncore properties, Bloomberg News reported.

Kimco is doing well, despite the current economic downturn, compared to other shopping center owners, the analyst said. Store closings are hurting occupancy and keeping rents stagnant for most owners of strip malls, Bloomberg reported.

Photo shows Milton Cooper, Kimco's founder, in 2003.

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