Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) to Hold

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Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have a $90.00 target price on the real estate investment trust’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 7.08% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Equity Residential have outperformed its industry over the past six months. In November, the company fortified its financial position by entering into a $2.5-billion multi-currency revolving credit facility, replacing the prior $2-billion credit agreement. It also raised the maximum size for its unsecured commercial paper note program from $500 million to $1 billion. Equity Residential is poised for growth amid job-market gains, favorable demographics, lifestyle transformation, and creation of households. Furthermore, it is anticipated to benefit from its portfolio-repositioning efforts in high barrier-to-entry/core markets. However, new apartment supply across its markets might partly impede the company’s growth momentum in the future, straining lease rates, occupancy and retention, and lead to use of high concessions.”

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Equity Residential from $79.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Robert W. Baird cut Equity Residential from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $78.00 to $81.00 in a research report on Monday, October 14th. ValuEngine cut Equity Residential from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on Equity Residential in a research report on Friday, November 8th. They issued a “sell” rating and a $86.00 price objective for the company. Finally, SunTrust Banks set a $82.00 price objective on Equity Residential and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $82.47.

EQR stock traded down $1.05 during trading on Monday, hitting $84.05. 50,181 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,460,624. The company has a market cap of $31.60 billion, a PE ratio of 25.89, a P/E/G ratio of 3.97 and a beta of 0.42. Equity Residential has a 1 year low of $63.17 and a 1 year high of $89.55. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $86.62 and its 200 day simple moving average is $82.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 0.13 and a quick ratio of 0.13.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 22nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.71 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by ($0.17). The business had revenue of $685.15 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $679.66 million. Equity Residential had a net margin of 29.88% and a return on equity of 7.73%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.83 earnings per share. Research analysts expect that Equity Residential will post 3.47 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, EVP Alan W. George sold 13,277 shares of Equity Residential stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.00, for a total value of $1,181,653.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,003 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,602,267. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO Michael L. Manelis sold 4,275 shares of Equity Residential stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.16, for a total value of $372,609.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 33,430 shares of company stock worth $2,952,270 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Worldquant Millennium Advisors LLC raised its position in Equity Residential by 4.3% in the third quarter. Worldquant Millennium Advisors LLC now owns 27,590 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $2,379,000 after purchasing an additional 1,125 shares during the period. National Pension Service raised its holdings in shares of Equity Residential by 4.9% in the 3rd quarter. National Pension Service now owns 495,474 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $42,740,000 after buying an additional 23,234 shares during the period. Penserra Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Equity Residential by 3.9% in the 3rd quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 18,489 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,593,000 after buying an additional 701 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its holdings in shares of Equity Residential by 4.0% in the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 840,170 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $72,473,000 after buying an additional 32,697 shares during the period. Finally, California State Teachers Retirement System raised its holdings in shares of Equity Residential by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 618,108 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $53,318,000 after buying an additional 2,151 shares during the period. 88.92% 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 307 properties consisting of 79,482 apartment units, primarily located in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Southern California and Denver.

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