Zacks Investment Research Lowers Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) to Sell

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 research reports. Stifel Nicolaus cut their target price on shares of Equity Residential from $71.00 to $68.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Equity Residential in a report on Friday, November 10th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Equity Residential in a report on Friday, October 20th. 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 report on Monday, November 6th. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Equity Residential from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report 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 currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.13.

Equity Residential (EQR) opened at $60.47 on Tuesday. Equity Residential has a one year low of $59.49 and a one year high of $70.46. The company has a quick ratio of 0.24, a current ratio of 0.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86. The company has a market cap of $22,220.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.85, a PEG ratio of 2.94 and a beta of 0.36.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by ($0.42). Equity Residential had a net margin of 30.88% and a return on equity of 7.22%. sell-side analysts forecast that Equity Residential will post 3.12 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Equity Residential news, CEO David J. Neithercut sold 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.17, for a total transaction of $7,017,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Mark J. Parrell sold 1,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.01, for a total transaction of $108,816.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 402,380 shares of company stock valued at $27,663,622. 3.79% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. State of Alaska Department of Revenue grew its holdings in Equity Residential by 45.4% during the 4th quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 232,114 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $14,798,000 after acquiring an additional 72,520 shares in the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new position in shares of Equity Residential in the 4th quarter worth about $296,000. Westpac Banking Corp lifted its position in shares of Equity Residential by 1.5% in the 4th quarter. Westpac Banking Corp now owns 323,757 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $20,646,000 after buying an additional 4,781 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Equity Residential by 5.3% in the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,440,459 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $219,399,000 after buying an additional 173,536 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Gulf International Bank UK Ltd lifted its position in shares of Equity Residential by 2.2% in the 4th quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 118,190 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $7,536,000 after buying an additional 2,500 shares during the last quarter. 94.04% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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