Equity Lifestyle Bumps Up Quarterly Dividend By 5.8%; Street Sees 10% Upside

Equity Lifestyle Properties raised its quarterly cash dividend by 5.8% to $0.3625 per share. Shares of the real estate investment trust company increased 1.9% to close at $62.31 on March 12.

Equity Lifestyle (ELS) announced that the new dividend will be paid on April 9 to shareholders of record as of March 26.

The company’s annual dividend of $1.45 per share now reflects a dividend yield of 2.33%.

In January, Equity Lifestyle reported 4Q results. The company’s 4Q earnings surged 16.7% year-over-year to $0.35 per share and outpaced Street estimates of $0.33. Total revenues increased 5.1% to $271.9 million and surpassed analysts’ expectations of $144.42 million. (See Equity Lifestyle stock analysis on TipRanks)

On Jan. 31, BMO Capital analyst John Kim increased the stock’s price target to $67 (7.5% upside potential) from $66 and reiterated a Hold rating, citing “higher external growth assumptions.”

“While one quarter does not make a trend,” according to Kim, “Equity Lifestyle appears to have taken a more aggressive stance with external growth, with $214.5M of investments over the past four months, at an average cap rate of 4%; and increased expansion site delivery.”

Furthermore, “given its strong operational performance and attractive cost of capital,” the analyst supports “this potentially more aggressive stance.”

The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating. That’s based on 2 Buys versus 1 Hold. The average analyst price target of $68.67 implies 10.2% upside potential to current levels. Shares have increased 17.2% over the past year.

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