Duke gets rare analyst downgrade

Shares in Duke Realty Corp. slipped 5 cents, to $25.45, this morning after a Credit Suisse analyst downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “neutral.”

Analyst Steve Benyik said the Indianapolis real estate investment trust faces “significant challenges” to lease its rental buildings. Duke also will struggle to contain general and administrative costs as development activity slows along with the economy, Benyik said.

Duke, which develops and manages office and industrial buildings, isn’t accustomed to downgrades.

Analysts for the most part have maintained their ratings; in fact, Duetsche Bank and Wachovia Capital early this month issued upgrades, to “Buy” and “Outperform,” respectively.

Duke shares hit a record $47.88 in January 2007, but fell to $21.34 in January this year, the lowest since early in the decade, as investors fled in the wake of general economic turmoil.

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