Raymond James & Associates has recently cut its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 13.6%, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm now owns 150,590 shares of Equity Residential’s stock after selling 23,676 shares during Q4. The value of Raymond James & Associates’ holdings in the real estate investment trust was $8,885,000 at the time of filing. While this news may cause some concern among investors, Equity Residential has actually increased its quarterly dividend payment from $0.63 to $0.6625 per share. Stockholders of record on March 27th were paid this dividend on April 14th, representing a dividend yield of 4.32% and an annualized basis payout ratio of 109.05%.
Several research analysts have chimed in with their opinions on Equity Residential as well. Truist Financial gave the company a “buy” rating and upped its price target from $68 to $70 in a recent research report while Mizuho also issued a “buy” rating and increased its price target from$67 to $72 citing strong financials for the company overall.
Wells Fargo & Company initiated coverage on Equity Residential with an “equal weight” rating and assigned it a price target of $62 per share rolling out at the end of March: while stocknews.com offered a “hold” rating for Equiyt residential concluding that -according to data from Bloomberg- Equity Residential presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price around $71.50.
Analysts seem split on whether or not Equity Residential is worthy investment specifically; however, there is no doubt that it remains financially stable overall thanks both its solid balance sheet as well as ongoing efforts to continue increasing dividends.
Equity residential is one of the leading real estate investment trusts in the market today since competing successfully in what continues to remain as a fiercely competitive industry. As a large real estate investment trust, Equity Residential has achieved vast diversification throughout the American market in terms of assets and properties in prime locations offering residential units at reasonable pricing for all target demographics.
Despite its growth, struggling to survive in the ever-changing economic climate is inevitable. At this point, Equity residential along with most other real estate investment trusts need to face their biggest challenge yet which lies mainly on how to overcome the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic whilst staying profitable and relevant within their respective industries.
With that said, reducing its stake by 13% in what can be seen as one of America’s largest residential rental markets might send out an alarmingly negative signal from the perspective of some shareholders; however, it significantly improves Raymond James & Associates’ positioning against any potential volatility looming over this area after Covid-19 swept through the world affecting everyone.
The Rise of Equity Residential: Institutional Investors Take Notice[stock_market_widget type=”chart” template=”basic” color=”#3946CE” assets=”EQR” range=”1mo” interval=”1d” axes=”true” cursor=”true” range_selector=”true” api=”yf”]
Equity Residential (EQR) has been recently making waves with its impressive performance in the market. The company is one of the leading real estate investment trusts in the US, and has caught the attention of institutional investors. Several institutions have been buying and selling EQR shares, contributing to the rise of the company’s stock value.
American Century Companies Inc., for instance, boosted its holdings in Equity Residential by 234.9% during the 1st quarter. It now owns 12,882 shares of EQR’s stock valued at $1,158,000 after acquiring an additional 9,035 shares during that period.
Private Advisor Group LLC also increased its EQR holdings by 45.5%, owning 4,761 shares worth $428,000 after obtaining an additional 1,489 shares. Panagora Asset Management bolstered its holdings in Equity Residential by 85.2% as well – landing them a total ownership of 11,356 shares worth $1,021,000.
Prudential PLC also made waves by purchasing a new stake in Equity Residential altogether – valuing it at about $687,000 during the first quarter alone.
Finally Baird Financial Group Inc., another institutional investor-boosted EQR’s holdings by up to around eight percent during that time frame as well.
To put things into perspective: currently a whopping 82.62% of all Equity Residential stocks are being owned and held onto by hedge fund entities and other institutional investors alike.
Despite this positive outlook for EQR via these investors showing strong interest; Director Mark S. Shapiro sold close to half a million dollars’ worth (~$2.6M USD) or roughly around ~42k company shares on Thursday May 4th which contributed largely to his direct personal income (he still has roughly ~12k remaining) but also potentially influenced investor confidence across several groups — knowing that a director is selling shares may cause some of the invested individuals to think the company might be in for a shakeup or future sale.
As of last Friday, EQR resumed trading at the opening value of $61.34 USD, enjoying a market cap of a little over $23 billion. The company is exhibiting attractive ratios across key metrics such as its dividend yield, price-to-earnings ratio, and overall enterprise value. Nevertheless, some would argue that its current approximate 3.32 price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio is slightly underperforming for a stock of its nature – this puts it outside what a number of investors/deep value critics would consider “fair valuation” estimates.
Perspectives on Equity Residential’s path forward remain mixed with investors watching closely to see what the future holds for the thriving REIT.