Goldman Sachs Group Begins Coverage on AvalonBay Communities (NYSE:AVB)

Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of AvalonBay Communities (NYSE:AVB) in a research report report published on Friday, Benzinga’s Daily Ratings Newsletter reports. The firm issued a buy rating and a $244.00 price target on the real estate investment trust’s stock.

Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on AVB. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their target price on AvalonBay Communities from $214.00 to $224.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, August 13th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their target price on AvalonBay Communities from $218.00 to $224.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Tuesday, August 13th. Zelman & Associates upgraded AvalonBay Communities from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, August 12th. ValuEngine cut AvalonBay Communities from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Barclays reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $240.00 price target on shares of AvalonBay Communities in a research report on Sunday, October 13th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. AvalonBay Communities has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $219.43.

AVB stock traded down $1.49 during trading on Friday, hitting $208.99. 498,344 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 597,238. The firm has a market capitalization of $29.31 billion, a PE ratio of 23.22, a P/E/G ratio of 3.65 and a beta of 0.47. AvalonBay Communities has a 1 year low of $167.01 and a 1 year high of $222.87. The company has a 50-day moving average of $216.44 and a 200-day moving average of $208.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a current ratio of 0.89.

AvalonBay Communities (NYSE:AVB) last issued its earnings results on Monday, October 28th. The real estate investment trust reported $2.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.80. The company had revenue of $587.61 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $585.86 million. AvalonBay Communities had a return on equity of 9.35% and a net margin of 45.56%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.39 EPS. Sell-side analysts expect that AvalonBay Communities will post 9.3 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 30th were given a dividend of $1.52 per share. This represents a $6.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.91%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 27th. AvalonBay Communities’s payout ratio is 67.56%.

In other news, EVP William M. Mclaughlin sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $215.11, for a total value of $537,775.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Leo S. Horey III sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $214.00, for a total value of $428,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 5,801 shares of company stock valued at $1,243,499 in the last ninety days. 0.42% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in AVB. CX Institutional raised its position in shares of AvalonBay Communities by 85.5% in the 3rd quarter. CX Institutional now owns 115 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $25,000 after acquiring an additional 53 shares in the last quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of AvalonBay Communities by 575.0% in the 2nd quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 216 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $44,000 after acquiring an additional 184 shares in the last quarter. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. raised its position in shares of AvalonBay Communities by 900.0% in the 2nd quarter. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. now owns 250 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $51,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. raised its position in shares of AvalonBay Communities by 370.4% in the 2nd quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 254 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $52,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of AvalonBay Communities in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $60,000. 92.71% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About AvalonBay Communities

As of March 31, 2019, the Company owned or held a direct or indirect ownership interest in 291 apartment communities containing 85,313 apartment homes in 12 states and the District of Columbia, of which 19 communities were under development and nine communities were under redevelopment. The Company is an equity REIT in the business of developing, redeveloping, acquiring and managing apartment communities in leading metropolitan areas primarily in New England, the New York/New Jersey Metro area, the Mid-Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northern and Southern California regions of the United States.

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