Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, January 9th.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Equity Residential have outperformed its industry, in the past three months. However, this trend is unlikely to continue because there are elevated levels of new supply across the company’s markets. This high supply is anticipated to put pressure on rental rates and adversely affect revenue growth this year. Further, there is high concession activity amid higher supply, which remains another concern. Furthermore, rate hike added to its woes. Nevertheless, the company is making concerted efforts to reposition its portfolio in high barrier-to-entry/core markets. Such efforts have the capacity to drive long term growth. Also, the company is anticipated to benefit from favorable demographics, lifestyle transformation and creation of new households.”
EQR has been the topic of a number of other reports. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $69.00 target price on shares of Equity Residential in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of Equity Residential in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Mizuho raised Equity Residential from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $76.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, November 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Equity Residential in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, SunTrust Banks set a $71.00 target price on shares of Equity Residential and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $69.13.
Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by ($0.42). Equity Residential had a return on equity of 7.22% and a net margin of 30.88%. research analysts expect that Equity Residential will post 3.12 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other news, CEO David J. Neithercut sold 100,000 shares of Equity Residential stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.17, for a total value of $7,017,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Alexander Brackenridge sold 6,497 shares of Equity Residential stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.41, for a total transaction of $450,956.77. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 402,380 shares of company stock valued at $27,663,622. Insiders own 3.79% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Federated Investors Inc. PA grew its holdings in Equity Residential by 79.2% during the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 8,329 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $548,000 after acquiring an additional 3,680 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its stake in Equity Residential by 12.9% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 27,706 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,837,000 after purchasing an additional 3,168 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its stake in Equity Residential by 29.9% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 500,691 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $32,961,000 after purchasing an additional 115,188 shares in the last quarter. Summit Global Investments raised its stake in Equity Residential by 21.5% in the second quarter. Summit Global Investments now owns 7,777 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $512,000 after purchasing an additional 1,377 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Raymond James Trust N.A. raised its stake in Equity Residential by 5.3% in the second quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 12,723 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $838,000 after purchasing an additional 635 shares in the last quarter. 94.04% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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About Equity Residential
Equity Residential is a real estate investment trust. The Company’s primary business is the acquisition, development and management of multifamily residential properties. Its segments include Boston, New York, Washington DC, Southern California, San Francisco, Seattle and Other Markets. Southern California includes Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County.
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