Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) has earned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the twenty-one analysts that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and eleven have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $281.28.
A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. BTIG Research lowered shares of Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, March 25th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $260.00 target price on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. KeyCorp upped their target price on shares of Essex Property Trust from $268.00 to $301.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. Wells Fargo & Co raised shares of Essex Property Trust from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $262.00 to $284.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Finally, Citigroup set a $275.00 target price on shares of Essex Property Trust and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th.
Shares of ESS stock traded down $2.62 on Wednesday, hitting $286.62. The stock had a trading volume of 8,203 shares, compared to its average volume of 274,108. Essex Property Trust has a twelve month low of $226.22 and a twelve month high of $294.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $19.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.89 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a quick ratio of 1.76, a current ratio of 1.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 29th will be given a dividend of $1.95 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 28th. This is a boost from Essex Property Trust’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.86. This represents a $7.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.72%. Essex Property Trust’s payout ratio is 62.05%.
In other news, CFO Angela L. Kleiman sold 1,177 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $289.72, for a total value of $341,000.44. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 6,916 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,003,703.52. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider John D. Eudy sold 3,750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $276.06, for a total transaction of $1,035,225.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 14,205 shares in the company, valued at $3,921,432.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 17,184 shares of company stock worth $4,904,753 over the last three months. Insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Ironwood Financial llc acquired a new position in Essex Property Trust in the 4th quarter valued at about $25,000. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its holdings in Essex Property Trust by 21.7% in the fourth quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 258 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $63,000 after purchasing an additional 46 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Essex Property Trust in the fourth quarter worth $87,000. Capital Guardian Trust Co. acquired a new stake in Essex Property Trust in the third quarter worth $113,000. Finally, Loeb Partners Corp acquired a new position in shares of Essex Property Trust during the fourth quarter valued at about $123,000. 97.02% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About Essex Property Trust
Essex Property Trust, Inc, an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily residential properties in selected West Coast markets. Essex currently has ownership interests in 245 apartment communities with an additional 6 properties in various stages of active development.
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