Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Equity Residential (EQR) Announces 6.0% Hike in Dividend

Read MoreHide Full Article

Equity Residential (EQR - Free Report) has announced a 6% hike in its annualized dividend. As a result, for the first quarter of 2023, EQR will pay out 66.25 cents per share, up from 62.50 cents paid out in the prior quarter. This new dividend will be paid out on Apr 14 to the company’s shareholders of record as of Mar 27, 2023.

Based on the hiked rate, the annualized dividend comes at $2.65 per share. At this new rate, the annualized yield comes in at 4.50%, based on the stock’s closing price of $58.91 on Mar 16.

The residential REIT also announced that its annual meeting of shareholders would be held on Jun 15.   

The latest raise reflects Equity Residential’s ability to generate a solid cash flow through its operating platform and high-quality portfolio. Prior to this latest increase, EQR increased its dividend four times in the past five years, and its payout has grown 3.45% over the same period. Check Equity Residential’s dividend history here.

EQR is well-poised to benefit from its portfolio diversification efforts in the urban and suburban markets with an affluent tenant base. Healthy demand for its apartments has been aiding occupancy level and strong pricing power in recent quarters.

In February, Equity Residential reported fourth-quarter 2022 normalized funds from operations (FFO) per share of 94 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The rental income of $699.7 million exceeded the consensus mark of $697.1 million. On a year-over-year basis, the normalized FFO per share grew 14.6% from 82 cents, while the rental income increased 8.5%.

For 2023, Equity Residential projected normalized FFO per share of $3.70-$3.80. The company’s full-year guidance incorporates projections for same-store revenue growth of 4.5-6.0%, an expense increase of 4-5% and an NOI expansion of 4.75-6.25%. Also, physical occupancy is expected at 96.2%.

The company’s strategic buyouts, encouraging development pipeline, and focus on technology and organizational capabilities to drive innovation and efficiency of its operating platform are tailwinds. Also, a healthy balance-sheet position bodes well.

Equity Residential exited 2022 with cash and cash equivalents of $53.9 million. The net debt to normalized EBITDAre was 4.38X compared with 4.54X in the previous quarter. The unencumbered NOI as a percentage of the total NOI was 88.2% in the quarter compared with the 88.3% reported in the prior quarter.

With solid credit metrics and sufficient access to capital markets at favorable rates, the company is well-poised to meet its future obligations, as well as ride its growth curve. However, elevated supply in some of Equity Residential’s markets is likely to fuel competition. Rising interest rates add to its concerns.   

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have declined 1.3% over the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 1.2%.


Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research


Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the REIT sector are Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (ARE - Free Report) and Terreno Realty Corporation (TRNO - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ 2023 FFO per share has moved a cent north to $8.95 over the past week.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Terreno Realty’s ongoing year’s FFO per share has been raised two cents over the past two months to $2.17.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

See More Zacks Research for These Tickers

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

Equity Residential (EQR) - free report >>

Terreno Realty Corporation (TRNO) - free report >>

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (ARE) - free report >>

Published in