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Self-Storage Sector Slips As Analysts Downgrade Stocks

Stock shares of self-storage companies dropped today after Extra Space Storage Inc. and Public Storage Inc. were downgraded by several investment banks. Shares of Public Storage fell $4.21, or 4.5 percent, to $90.29 in midday trading. Shares of Extra Space declined 64 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $16.50.
Bank of America Securities analyst Christy McElroy changed her rating to "Neutral" from "Buy" for Public Storage and Extra Space in a client note, saying the stocks have reached her price targets. She also downgraded the entire self-storage sector to "Marketweight" from "Overweight."
Other banks downgraded Public Storage, too. Wachovia Capital Markets LLC cut its rating to "Underperform" from "Market Perform," while Merrill Lynch cut its rating to "Sell" from "Neutral."
In a note to investors, Wachovia analyst Jeffrey Donnelly said Public Storage has already outperformed its peers, and while investors may believe self-storage stands to benefit from the rise in home foreclosures, this hypothesis may be getting “too much enthusiasm.”
Other self-storage companies were also trading lower today. Shares of Cleveland-based U-Store-It Trust were down 24 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $11.13. Sovran Self Storage Inc., based in Buffalo, N.Y., dropped $1.18, or 2.7 percent, to $43.27. And AMERCO, the parent company of U-Haul International Inc., slipped 25 cents to $59.06.
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