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

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

Shares of Equity Residential stock traded up $0.04 on Thursday, reaching $82.28. The stock had a trading volume of 29,668 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,475,072. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $81.91 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $83.12. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.13 and a current ratio of 0.13. Equity Residential has a fifty-two week low of $67.80 and a fifty-two week high of $89.55. The stock has a market cap of $30.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.40.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ 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 period last year, the firm posted $0.83 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Equity Residential will post 3.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, January 2nd were given 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 69.85%.

In other Equity Residential news, Chairman Samuel Zell sold 81,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.54, for a total transaction of $6,873,102.00. Also, EVP Christa L. Sorenson sold 2,378 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.60, for a total transaction of $208,312.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 118,024 shares of company stock worth $10,092,351. 3.75% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Cutler Group LP lifted its position in Equity Residential by 105.0% during the 3rd quarter. Cutler Group LP now owns 414 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $35,000 after purchasing an additional 8,767 shares during the period. Rational Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 195.5% in the 3rd quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 591 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $51,000 after acquiring an additional 391 shares during the last quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. increased its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 362.5% in the 2nd quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 666 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $51,000 after acquiring an additional 522 shares during the last quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Equity Residential in the 3rd quarter valued at about $75,000. Finally, Bartlett & Co. LLC increased its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 188.8% in the 3rd quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 1,606 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $139,000 after acquiring an additional 1,050 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.16% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have commented on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Equity Residential from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $89.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, December 18th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Equity Residential from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, December 2nd. Deutsche Bank lifted their target price on shares of Equity Residential from $81.00 to $83.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, December 9th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Equity Residential from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Equity Residential in a research report on Friday, November 8th. They issued a “sell” rating and a $86.00 target price on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. Equity Residential has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $83.06.

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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