Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) Short Interest Update

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was the target of a large growth in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,156,700 shares, a growth of 10.2% from the June 30th total of 4,679,900 shares. Approximately 1.4% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 1,210,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.3 days.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on EQR shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Equity Residential from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday. Argus increased their price objective on Equity Residential to $84.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 23rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Equity Residential from $70.00 to $79.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 27th. One 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. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $74.40.

EQR stock traded down $0.71 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $80.18. 490,216 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,351,089. Equity Residential has a 1 year low of $62.40 and a 1 year high of $81.88. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 1.45 and a quick ratio of 1.45. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $78.63. The firm has a market capitalization of $30.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.67, a PEG ratio of 4.00 and a beta of 0.51.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.83 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.85 by ($0.02). Equity Residential had a return on equity of 7.21% and a net margin of 28.27%. The business had revenue of $669.37 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $667.59 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.81 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts predict that Equity Residential will post 3.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Equity Residential news, CEO Mark J. Parrell sold 59,385 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.60, for a total value of $4,548,891.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 79,782 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,111,301.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Alan W. George sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.24, for a total value of $2,317,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 86,582 shares in the company, valued at $6,687,593.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 224,906 shares of company stock worth $17,697,674 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. NEXT Financial Group Inc purchased a new position in shares of Equity Residential in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $34,000. Tiemann Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Equity Residential during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Green Street Investors LLC increased its position in Equity Residential by 46.3% during the 1st quarter. Green Street Investors LLC now owns 258,300 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $19,455,000 after buying an additional 81,700 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its position in Equity Residential by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 6,770,425 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $509,949,000 after buying an additional 28,685 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Huntington National Bank increased its position in Equity Residential by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 3,700 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $282,000 after buying an additional 163 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.98% of the company’s stock.

About Equity Residential

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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