Equity Residential (EQR) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Tuesday.

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.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on EQR. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Equity Residential in a research note on Tuesday. Stifel Nicolaus dropped their price target on shares of Equity Residential from $71.00 to $68.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Mizuho raised shares of Equity Residential from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $76.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, November 6th. SunTrust Banks set a $71.00 price objective on shares of Equity Residential and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and issued a $69.00 price objective on shares of Equity Residential in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $69.13.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) traded down $0.54 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $60.42. 1,460,196 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,682,022. Equity Residential has a 52-week low of $59.49 and a 52-week high of $70.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.24 and a current ratio of 0.24. The stock has a market cap of $22,140.00, a PE ratio of 20.83, a PEG ratio of 3.05 and a beta of 0.36.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 12th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 2nd will be given a $0.5038 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 29th. This represents a $2.02 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.33%. Equity Residential’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 69.66%.

In other news, Chairman Samuel Zell sold 91,651 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.17, for a total value of $6,156,197.67. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO David J. Neithercut sold 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.17, for a total transaction of $7,017,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 402,380 shares of company stock valued at $27,663,622. 3.79% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Equity Residential by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 34,594,954 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $2,277,386,000 after purchasing an additional 794,065 shares in the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Equity Residential by 109.4% in the 3rd quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 14,548,725 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $959,197,000 after purchasing an additional 7,600,203 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Equity Residential by 113.9% in the 3rd quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 7,724,194 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $509,256,000 after purchasing an additional 4,112,438 shares in the last quarter. PGGM Investments raised its holdings in shares of Equity Residential by 1.7% in the 3rd quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 7,272,978 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $479,507,000 after purchasing an additional 121,040 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC raised its holdings in shares of Equity Residential by 16.4% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,697,809 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $440,917,000 after purchasing an additional 945,524 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.03% of the company’s stock.

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Equity Residential Company Profile

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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