Equity Residential Valuation – February 2017 $EQR

Benjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk.  This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing the 10 Stocks for Using A Benjamin Graham Value Investing Strategy – February 2017.  By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.  What follows is a stock analysis showing a specific look at how Equity Residential (EQR) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Equity Residential is a real estate investment trust. The Company is focused on the acquisition, development and management of apartment properties in various markets of the United States. The Company’s segments include Boston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Washington D.C., Non-core – South Florida, Non-core – Denver, and Non-core – other. ERP Operating Limited Partnership (Operating Partnership) conducts the multifamily residential property business of the Company. The Company’s property ownership, development and related business operations are conducted through the Operating Partnership. The Company holds interests in approximately 390 properties located in over 10 states and the District of Columbia, consisting of approximately 109,650 apartment units. Its properties are of various building types, such as garden, mid/high-rise and military housing. Its core properties are located in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle and San Diego, among others.

EQR Chart

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Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of EQR – February 2017

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $22,976,699,323 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 0.37 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Pass
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end 308.15% Pass
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 13.99 Pass
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 2.34 Pass
Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 1.5 0.37 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 -33.64 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Pass
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Pass

Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $4.49
MG Growth Estimate 5.73%
MG Value $89.59
Opinion Undervalued
MG Grade B+
MG Value based on 3% Growth $65.08
MG Value based on 0% Growth $38.15
Market Implied Growth Rate 2.74%
Current Price $62.78
% of Intrinsic Value 70.08%

Equity Residential qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the low current ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.25 in 2013 to an estimated $4.49 for 2017. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 2.74% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Equity Residential revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $24.78. The company pays a dividend of $2.02 per share, for a yield of 3.2%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 13.99, which was below the industry average of 31.91, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-27.02.

Equity Residential performs fairly well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring a B+.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$27.02
Graham Number $24.78
PEmg 13.99
Current Ratio 0.37
PB Ratio 2.34
Current Dividend $2.02
Dividend Yield 3.21%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 1


Useful Links:

ModernGraham tagged articles Morningstar
Google Finance MSN Money
Yahoo Finance Seeking Alpha
GuruFocus SEC Filings

Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 12/1/2016
Total Current Assets $154,153,000
Total Current Liabilities $420,722,000
Long-Term Debt $8,967,260,000
Total Assets $20,704,148,000
Intangible Assets $0
Total Liabilities $10,475,070,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 381,992,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $0.98
Dec2016 $11.68
Dec2015 $2.36
Dec2014 $1.73
Dec2013 $5.16
Dec2012 $2.70
Dec2011 $2.98
Dec2010 $0.95
Dec2009 $1.27
Dec2008 $1.46
Dec2007 $3.39
Dec2006 $3.50
Dec2005 $2.79
Dec2004 $1.50
Dec2003 $1.57
Dec2002 $1.18
Dec2001 $1.34
Dec2000 $1.67
Dec1999 $1.14
Dec1998 $0.82
Dec1997 $0.88

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $4.49
Dec2016 $5.74
Dec2015 $2.84
Dec2014 $2.95
Dec2013 $3.25
Dec2012 $2.15
Dec2011 $1.92
Dec2010 $1.63
Dec2009 $2.14
Dec2008 $2.56
Dec2007 $2.93
Dec2006 $2.50
Dec2005 $1.89
Dec2004 $1.44
Dec2003 $1.40
Dec2002 $1.29
Dec2001 $1.29

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

Equity Residential Analysis – 2015 Update $EQR
17 Companies in the Spotlight This Week – June 21, 2014
Equity Residential Annual Valuation – 2014 $EQR

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The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.

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