BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) from an underperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning, Analyst Ratings Network reports. The firm currently has $61.00 price objective on the real estate investment trust’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $57.00.

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Smith Barney Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of Equity Residential in a research report on Tuesday, December 15th. Wells Fargo & Company started coverage on shares of Equity Residential in a research report on Tuesday, October 20th. They set an equal weight rating and a $54.00 price objective on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Equity Residential from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 16th. Mizuho increased their target price on shares of Equity Residential from $62.00 to $68.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 10th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Equity Residential from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, November 3rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Equity Residential has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $65.18.

NYSE EQR opened at $59.57 on Monday. Equity Residential has a 1 year low of $45.42 and a 1 year high of $87.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 0.80 and a quick ratio of 0.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.18 billion, a PE ratio of 23.45, a P/E/G ratio of 3.51 and a beta of 0.80. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $59.19 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $56.17.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by ($0.58). Equity Residential had a return on equity of 8.89% and a net margin of 35.97%. On average, research analysts anticipate that Equity Residential will post 3.25 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, January 4th will be given a $0.6025 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 31st. This represents a $2.41 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.05%. Equity Residential’s dividend payout ratio is 69.05%.

In other news, EVP Alexander Brackenridge sold 7,244 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.95, for a total value of $427,033.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Company insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of EQR. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Equity Residential by 22.1% in the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 758,791 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $38,949,000 after purchasing an additional 137,555 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. boosted its position in shares of Equity Residential by 50.5% in the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 454,179 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $23,312,000 after purchasing an additional 152,384 shares during the period. Pensionfund DSM Netherlands boosted its position in shares of Equity Residential by 8.5% in the third quarter. Pensionfund DSM Netherlands now owns 83,356 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $4,279,000 after purchasing an additional 6,500 shares during the period. DNB Asset Management AS boosted its position in shares of Equity Residential by 15.8% in the third quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 49,381 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,535,000 after purchasing an additional 6,730 shares during the period. Finally, Standard Life Aberdeen plc lifted its holdings in shares of Equity Residential by 5.2% in the third quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 209,627 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $10,761,000 after buying an additional 10,276 shares in the last quarter. 78.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Equity Residential

Equity Residential is committed to creating communities where people thrive. The Company, a member of the S&P 500, is focused on the acquisition, development and management of residential properties located in and around dynamic cities that attract high quality long-term renters. Equity Residential owns or has investments in 305 properties consisting of 78,568 apartment units, located in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Southern California and Denver.

Featured Article: The Structure of a Futures Contract

Analyst Recommendations for Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR)

Receive News & Ratings for Equity Residential Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Equity Residential and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.