Investors Buy Large Volume of Equity Residential Call Options (NYSE:EQR)

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Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 912 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,325% compared to the average daily volume of 64 call options.

In other news, Chairman Samuel Zell sold 81,300 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.54, for a total value of $6,873,102.00. Also, COO Michael L. Manelis sold 4,275 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.16, for a total value of $372,609.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 114,730 shares of company stock valued at $9,825,372. Insiders own 3.75% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Cutler Group LP boosted its holdings in Equity Residential by 105.0% in the third quarter. Cutler Group LP now owns 414 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $35,000 after acquiring an additional 8,767 shares in the last quarter. LLBH Private Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Equity Residential in the second quarter worth approximately $51,000. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. raised its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 362.5% in the second quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 666 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $51,000 after purchasing an additional 522 shares during the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Equity Residential by 195.5% in the third quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 591 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $51,000 after purchasing an additional 391 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Equity Residential in the second quarter worth approximately $58,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.17% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on EQR shares. SunTrust Banks set a $82.00 price target on Equity Residential and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 25th. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Equity Residential in a research note on Friday, November 8th. They issued a “sell” rating and a $86.00 price target for the company. Robert W. Baird cut Equity Residential from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and increased their price target for the company from $78.00 to $81.00 in a research note on Monday, October 14th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Equity Residential from $79.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 6th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Equity Residential from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $82.52.

Shares of Equity Residential stock traded down $1.31 on Thursday, hitting $81.37. 50,521 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,542,275. Equity Residential has a one year low of $63.17 and a one year high of $89.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 0.13 and a quick ratio of 0.13. The company has a fifty day moving average of $85.75 and a two-hundred day moving average of $82.51. The company has a market capitalization of $31.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.06, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.94 and a beta of 0.42.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.88 by ($0.17). The firm had revenue of $685.15 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $679.66 million. Equity Residential had a return on equity of 7.73% and a net margin of 29.88%. The firm’s revenue was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.83 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Equity Residential will post 3.47 earnings per share for the current 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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