AvalonBay Communities Inc. (NYSE:AVB) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Wednesday . 1,775,600 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 136% from the previous session’s volume of 750,877 shares.The stock last traded at $179.76 and had previously closed at $182.42.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on AVB. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price objective on AvalonBay Communities from $196.00 to $198.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “hold” rating and issued a $188.00 price objective on shares of AvalonBay Communities in a report on Monday, July 18th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $192.00 price objective on shares of AvalonBay Communities in a report on Monday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded AvalonBay Communities from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $205.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, July 18th. Finally, Barclays PLC upped their price objective on AvalonBay Communities from $188.00 to $195.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, April 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. AvalonBay Communities currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $194.62.

The firm has a 50-day moving average of $178.83 and a 200 day moving average of $178.95. The stock has a market cap of $24.66 billion and a P/E ratio of 31.59.

AvalonBay Communities (NYSE:AVB) last released its earnings results on Monday, July 25th. The real estate investment trust reported $1.99 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.09 by $0.10. The firm earned $502.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $500.25 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.87 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that AvalonBay Communities Inc. will post $8.36 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 30th were paid a $1.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 28th. This represents a $5.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.00%.

In other news, CEO Timothy J. Naughton sold 59,340 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $190.99, for a total value of $11,333,346.60. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 148,798 shares in the company, valued at approximately $28,418,930.02. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Stephen W. Wilson sold 5,117 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $180.08, for a total value of $921,469.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 32,984 shares in the company, valued at $5,939,758.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of AVB. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in AvalonBay Communities by 17.2% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,254,027 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $415,035,000 after buying an additional 330,732 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in AvalonBay Communities by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,719,040 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $316,529,000 after buying an additional 60,446 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in AvalonBay Communities by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 378,724 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $69,735,000 after buying an additional 14,624 shares in the last quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK raised its position in AvalonBay Communities by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK now owns 242,124 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $44,742,000 after buying an additional 4,628 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its position in AvalonBay Communities by 128.0% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 223,300 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $41,116,000 after buying an additional 125,380 shares in the last quarter.

AvalonBay Communities, Inc is a real estate investment trust. The Company focuses on the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership and operation of multifamily communities primarily in New England, the New York/New Jersey metro area, the Mid-Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest, and Northern and Southern California.

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