Equity Residential (EQR) Hits New 1-Year High at $75.71

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Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) hit a new 52-week high on Friday . The stock traded as high as $75.71 and last traded at $74.85, with a volume of 65586 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $74.79.

Several research analysts have recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Equity Residential from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, November 26th. TheStreet raised Equity Residential from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 28th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Equity Residential from $63.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, December 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Equity Residential from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 19th. Finally, Mizuho lowered Equity Residential from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $71.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, January 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Equity Residential has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.85.

The stock has a market cap of $27.23 billion, a PE ratio of 23.06, a PEG ratio of 3.67 and a beta of 0.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.29 and a quick ratio of 0.29.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, January 29th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.85 by ($0.54). The business had revenue of $652.55 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $652.35 million. Equity Residential had a net margin of 25.50% and a return on equity of 6.31%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.83 earnings per share. On average, research analysts predict that Equity Residential will post 3.39 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 12th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 25th will be issued a $0.5675 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 22nd. This is a positive change from Equity Residential’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.54. This represents a $2.27 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.03%. Equity Residential’s dividend payout ratio is currently 66.46%.

In other news, CAO Ian Kaufman sold 932 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.21, for a total value of $67,299.72. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director David J. Neithercut sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.15, for a total value of $3,607,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 230,872 shares of company stock worth $16,960,483 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 3.75% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 5.8% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 41,246,537 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,722,686,000 after buying an additional 2,256,566 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Equity Residential during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,249,322,000. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in Equity Residential by 5.1% during the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 6,741,740 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $445,022,000 after purchasing an additional 324,960 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Equity Residential by 9.0% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 6,088,423 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $401,342,000 after purchasing an additional 501,797 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its position in Equity Residential by 17.4% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 6,086,929 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $403,319,000 after purchasing an additional 901,037 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.22% of the company’s stock.

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About Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR)

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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