Equity Residential (EQR) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The firm presently has a $77.00 price objective on the real estate investment trust’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 11.89% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Equity Residential outperformed its industry in six months’ time. Moreover, the trend in estimate revisions of 2018 funds from operations (FFO) per share indicates a favorable outlook for the company. The company’s third-quarter 2018 results highlight improved same-store net operating income (NOI) and lease-up NOI. Elevated demand and focus on customer service aided high occupancy level, low turnover and strong renewal rates. Therefore, the company expects 2018 same-store revenue growth at the high end of its forecasts. Equity Residential is poised for growth amid economic recovery and job market growth, favorable demographics, lifestyle transformation, and creation of households. Further, it is expected to benefit from its efforts to reposition the company’s portfolio in high barrier-to-entry/core markets. Nevertheless, elevated supply in a number of its markets may strain rental rates and result in high concessions.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on Equity Residential from $68.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Scotiabank began coverage on Equity Residential in a research note on Tuesday, October 16th. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $76.00 price target on shares of Equity Residential in a research note on Monday, August 6th. SunTrust Banks lowered Equity Residential from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, August 14th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $66.00 price objective on shares of Equity Residential in a research note on Thursday, August 16th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.00.

Shares of NYSE:EQR traded down $0.29 during trading on Monday, reaching $68.82. The stock had a trading volume of 15,198 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,612,011. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.13 and a quick ratio of 0.13. The firm has a market capitalization of $25.46 billion, a PE ratio of 21.95, a P/E/G ratio of 3.53 and a beta of 0.40. Equity Residential has a 1-year low of $54.97 and a 1-year high of $70.27.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by ($0.23). The firm had revenue of $652.87 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $645.77 million. Equity Residential had a return on equity of 6.37% and a net margin of 26.01%. The business’s revenue was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.37 earnings per share. As a group, analysts expect that Equity Residential will post 3.26 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, President Mark J. Parrell sold 37,294 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.60, for a total value of $2,521,074.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Vice Chairman Gerald A. Spector sold 13,024 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.50, for a total value of $879,120.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 294,287 shares in the company, valued at approximately $19,864,372.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 200,532 shares of company stock worth $13,543,569 in the last three months. 3.75% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in EQR. Boston Partners lifted its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 80.2% in the 2nd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 6,431,486 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $409,622,000 after purchasing an additional 2,862,717 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 6.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 38,144,554 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $2,429,425,000 after purchasing an additional 2,247,512 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Equity Residential in the 2nd quarter valued at $103,610,000. Morgan Stanley lifted its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 17.4% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 6,086,929 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $403,319,000 after purchasing an additional 901,037 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia lifted its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 28,372.7% in the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 739,721 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $47,747,000 after purchasing an additional 737,123 shares during the last quarter. 87.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Equity Residential Company Profile

Equity Residential is an S&P 500 company focused on the acquisition, development and management of rental apartment properties located in urban and high-density suburban markets where today's renters want to live, work and play. Equity Residential owns or has investments in 306 properties consisting of 79,260 apartment units, primarily located in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Southern California and Denver.

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