Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) saw a significant decrease in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,518,700 shares, a decrease of 12.4% from the July 31st total of 5,156,700 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,270,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.6 days. Approximately 1.2% of the shares of the company are short sold.

In other news, EVP Barry Altshuler sold 15,535 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.00, for a total transaction of $1,211,730.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Alan W. George sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.60, for a total value of $846,000.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 31,280 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,646,288. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 209,862 shares of company stock valued at $17,023,030 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of EQR. Cohen & Steers Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 74.6% in the second quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 6,812,818 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $517,229,000 after buying an additional 2,911,036 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 179.5% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 3,746,745 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $284,454,000 after purchasing an additional 2,406,121 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 15.8% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 10,042,326 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $756,387,000 after purchasing an additional 1,373,126 shares during the last quarter. Centersquare Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 39.4% during the 1st quarter. Centersquare Investment Management LLC now owns 3,885,671 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $292,669,000 after purchasing an additional 1,097,577 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 2.3% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 42,189,362 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $3,177,704,000 after purchasing an additional 942,825 shares during the last quarter. 88.47% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on the company. SunTrust Banks upped their target price on Equity Residential from $74.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised Equity Residential from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, August 12th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Equity Residential from $79.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, September 6th. Finally, Argus increased their price objective on Equity Residential to $84.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, May 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $77.97.

EQR stock traded up $0.35 on Thursday, reaching $85.12. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 52,143 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,359,346. Equity Residential has a 52 week low of $62.40 and a 52 week high of $87.09. The company has a market capitalization of $31.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.12 and a beta of 0.49. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $82.10 and a two-hundred day moving average of $77.66. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 1.45 and a quick ratio of 1.45.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates 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 the consensus estimate of $667.59 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.81 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts expect that Equity Residential will post 3.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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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