Equity Residential, Chicago, has reported earnings per share of $0.35 for the first quarter, a 14.6% decline from EPS of $0.41 for the first quarter of 2003.The largest multifamily real estate investment trust (by market capitalization) also reported net income of $117.065 million for the first quarter, compared with $135.347 million for the comparable period of 2003. "We continue to look at 2004 as a transitional year leading to very strong 2005 performance," said Bruce W. Duncan, the REIT's president and chief executive officer. "While we are more optimistic today than we were three months ago, we remain cautious in our expectations for the remainder of the year." The REIT's funds from operations figure -- an adjusted earnings measure that is widely used in the REIT world -- was $0.52 per share for the first quarter, compared with $0.57 a year earlier. The REIT can be found online at http://www.equityapartments.com.

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