Equity Residential Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (NYSE:EQR)

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 1,967 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,581% compared to the average volume of 117 call options.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. SunTrust Banks set a $82.00 price objective on Equity Residential and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 25th. Robert W. Baird downgraded 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 report on Monday, October 14th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Equity Residential from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, December 2nd. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on Equity Residential in a report on Friday, November 8th. They set a “sell” rating and a $86.00 price objective for the company. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Equity Residential from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $89.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Wednesday, December 18th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $83.06.

In other news, Director Charles L. Atwood sold 10,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.85, for a total transaction of $922,425.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Christa L. Sorenson sold 2,378 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.60, for a total value of $208,312.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 118,024 shares of company stock worth $10,092,351. Insiders own 3.75% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Cutler Group LP grew its holdings in Equity Residential by 105.0% during the third quarter. Cutler Group LP now owns 414 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $35,000 after buying an additional 8,767 shares in the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Equity Residential by 195.5% during the third quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 591 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $51,000 after buying an additional 391 shares in the last quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. grew its holdings in Equity Residential by 362.5% during the second quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 666 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $51,000 after buying an additional 522 shares in the last quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Equity Residential during the third quarter worth $75,000. Finally, Bartlett & Co. LLC grew its holdings in Equity Residential by 188.8% during the third quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 1,606 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 1,050 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.16% of the company’s stock.

Equity Residential stock traded up $0.04 during trading on Thursday, hitting $82.28. 29,668 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,475,072. The business’s 50 day moving average is $81.91 and its 200 day moving average is $83.12. Equity Residential has a 52 week low of $67.80 and a 52 week high of $89.55. The company has a market capitalization of $30.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.29, a PEG ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.40. The company has a current ratio of 0.13, a quick ratio of 0.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, January 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.567 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, December 31st. This represents a $2.27 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.76%. Equity Residential’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 69.85%.

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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