Equity Residential (EQR) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Equity Residential outperformed its industry in three months’ time. Moreover, the trend in estimate revisions of current-quarter 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, partly offset by higher total interest expenses. 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. Nevertheless, elevated supply in a number of its markets may strain rental rates and result in high concessions.”

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price objective on shares of Equity Residential from $60.00 to $68.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on shares of Equity Residential from $68.00 to $69.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. SunTrust Banks cut shares of Equity Residential from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, August 14th. Deutsche Bank raised their price objective on shares of Equity Residential from $66.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 5th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Equity Residential and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Thirteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Equity Residential currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $69.06.

NYSE EQR traded down $0.41 on Tuesday, hitting $68.99. The stock had a trading volume of 24,715 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,887,624. Equity Residential has a 52-week low of $54.97 and a 52-week high of $69.92. 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 stock has a market capitalization of $25.56 billion, a PE ratio of 22.02, a P/E/G ratio of 3.55 and a beta of 0.40.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by ($0.23). Equity Residential had a return on equity of 6.37% and a net margin of 26.01%. The firm had revenue of $652.87 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $645.77 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.37 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that Equity Residential will post 3.26 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Vice Chairman Gerald A. Spector sold 13,024 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.50, for a total transaction of $879,120.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 294,287 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,864,372.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO David J. Neithercut sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.00, for a total transaction of $2,040,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 200,532 shares of company stock worth $13,543,569. 3.75% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Landaas & Co. WI ADV bought a new stake in Equity Residential in the 2nd quarter worth $101,000. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new stake in Equity Residential in the 3rd quarter worth $120,000. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. bought a new stake in Equity Residential in the 3rd quarter worth $137,000. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Equity Residential in the 2nd quarter worth $187,000. Finally, Girard Partners LTD. bought a new stake in shares of Equity Residential during the 2nd quarter valued at about $203,000. 87.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR)

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