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Equity Residential Stock Up 10.3% YTD: Will the Trend Last?

Shares of Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR), currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), have rallied 10.3% in the year-to-date period, outperforming the industry's growth of 3.2%. Equity Residential boasts a portfolio of high-quality apartment units in some of the key markets of the United States that have an affluent tenant base. For the full-year 2024, Equity Residential expects normalized FFO per share in the band of $3.80-$3.90. The company's full-year guidance incorporated projections for same-store revenue growth of 2-3%, an expense increase of 3.5-4.5% and an NOI expansion of 1-2.6%. Also, physical occupancy is expected at 95.9%. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research In May, EQR announced that it expects its 2024 same-store revenues, net operating income (NOI) and normalized FFO per share results toward the higher end of its existing guidance ranges. This latest projection came with the residential REIT experiencing sustained high demand across its market, which is pushing physical occupancy above expectations. Also, strong pricing power in its East Coast markets and continued recovery in its West Coast markets are tailwinds. Analysts seem bullish on this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its 2024 and 2025 FFO per share has moved marginally upward over the past two months to $3.88 and $4.00, respectively. Let us now decipher the factors behind the surge in the stock price and also check whether this trend will last. Equity Residential has a dominating presence in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Francisco and Southern California. The residential REIT is also growing its presence in Denver, CO; Atlanta, GA; Dallas/Ft. Worth and Austin, TX. It is particularly targeting places where affluent renters prefer to live, work and play. The company's affluent residents work in the highest earning sectors of the economy and are not rent-burdened, creating ...