Equity Residential (EQR): Today's Featured Financial Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Equity Residential ( EQR) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.9%. By the end of trading, Equity Residential fell 87 cents (-1.5%) to $57.13 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.1 million shares of Equity Residential exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $57.13-$58.15 after having opened the day at $57.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 31.3%, Porter Bancorp ( PBIB), down 13.6%, Institutional Financial Markets ( IFMI), down 11.7%, and Phoenix Companies ( PNX), down 9.6%.
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Equity Residential, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, development, and management of multifamily properties in the United States. Equity Residential has a market cap of $17.74 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 87.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Equity Residential a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Equity Residential as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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