Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) by 0.8% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 2,300,559 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock after buying an additional 17,577 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.63% of Equity Residential worth $143,198,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Equity Residential by 69.7% in the third quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,263,684 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $145,623,000 after buying an additional 929,472 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its stake in Equity Residential by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 20,962 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,349,000 after buying an additional 84 shares during the last quarter. AMF Pensionsforsakring AB increased its stake in Equity Residential by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. AMF Pensionsforsakring AB now owns 155,579 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $10,013,000 after buying an additional 1,050 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in Equity Residential by 1,425.3% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 12,050,701 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $775,583,000 after buying an additional 11,260,624 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI increased its stake in Equity Residential by 6.4% in the fourth quarter. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI now owns 49,441 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $3,182,000 after buying an additional 2,975 shares during the last quarter. 95.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR)

Shares of Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) traded up 1.27% on Friday, reaching $68.63. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,305,468 shares. Equity Residential has a 12 month low of $58.28 and a 12 month high of $71.53. The firm has a market cap of $25.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.84 and a beta of 0.34. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $65.58 and a 200-day moving average of $63.45.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, April 25th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74. Equity Residential had a net margin of 35.18% and a return on equity of 7.46%. The business had revenue of $604.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $605.69 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.76 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Equity Residential will post $1.35 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 14th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 26th will be paid a dividend of $0.5038 per share. This represents a $2.02 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 22nd. Equity Residential’s dividend payout ratio is 88.21%.

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A number of equities research analysts recently commented on EQR shares. Evercore ISI upped their price objective on Equity Residential from $62.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $66.00 price objective on shares of Equity Residential in a report on Thursday, May 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Equity Residential from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. Barclays PLC restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $64.00 price target (up from $62.00) on shares of Equity Residential in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 price objective on shares of Equity Residential in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.79.

In related news, insider Alan W. George sold 28,157 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.93, for a total transaction of $1,856,391.01. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael L. Manelis sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.63, for a total transaction of $65,630.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 44,871 shares of company stock valued at $2,979,034 in the last three months. 3.79% of the stock is owned by insiders.

About Equity Residential

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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