Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) on Watch

[Benzinga] Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR)(TREND ANALYSIS) after its Q1 earnings release and conference call.

Equity Residential owns or has interests in over 108,000 apartment units as of March 31, 2014 primarily located in core high barrier to entry urban markets on both U.S. coasts.

EQR multifamily peers covered by Baird include:

AvalonBay Communities Inc (NYSE: AVB) – Neutral, $21.7 billion cap, 3.1 percent yield.

Stock Performance: Click here for a free comprehensive Trend Analysis Report

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) is currently trading 9.68% below its 52-week-high, 23.33% above its 52-week-low. The 1-year range for the stock is $60.44 – $82.53. Equity Residential (EQR) has a price to earnings ratio of 37.23 versus Financial sector average of 15.47. EQR stock price has outperformed the S&P 500 by 0.9%. The REIT – Residential company is currently valued at $27.13 billion and its share price closed the last trading session at $74.54. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $75.41 and a 200-day moving average of $75.33.

Equity Residential (EQR) current short interest stands at 4.19 million shares. It has decreased by 15% from the same period of last month. Around 2% of the company’s shares, which are float, are short sold. With a 10-days average volume of 1.32 million shares, the number of days required to cover the short positions stand at 3.2 days.

EQR reported last quarter earnings on April 28. The REIT – Residential company announced earnings per share of $0.79 against a consensus Street estimate of $0.8, missing estimate by $0.01. This corresponds to an increase of $0.04 compared to the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

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There are currently twenty-seven analysts that cover EQR stock. Of those twenty-seven, nine have a Buy rating, sixteen have a Hold rating and two have a Sell rating. On a consensus basis this yields to an Overweight rating. The consensus target price stands at $80.52.

A recent analyst activity consisted of Deutsche Bank reiterating their Hold stance on May 18. Deutsche Bank increased their price target on EQR from $75 to $78. This corresponds to a 4.64% upside from the last closing price. On the date of report, the stock closed at $74.8.

Barclays reiterated their Equalweight stance on April 20, and decreased their price target from $85 to $82. This corresponds to a 10.01% upside from the last closing price. On the date of report, the stock closed at $75.27.

Another research firm was Janney Capital who initiated their coverage on the stock with Neutral rating on April 9. Janney Capital fixed their price target at $77. This translates to a 3.3% upside from the last closing price. On the date of report, the stock closed at $75.87.

Company profile

Equity Residential, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, development, and management of multifamily properties in the United States. As of December 31, 2007, it owned and invested in 579 properties in 24 states and the District of Columbia consisting of 152,821 units. The company qualifies as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. As a REIT, it would not be subject to federal income tax to the extent that it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. Equity Residential was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

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