Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ESS) was downgraded by equities researchers at Evercore ISI to an “underperform” rating in a report released on Monday, The Fly reports.

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on ESS. Zelman & Associates downgraded shares of Essex Property Trust from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, February 13th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and set a $248.00 price target on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research report on Wednesday, March 29th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Essex Property Trust from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 18th. Barclays PLC reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $262.00 price target (up previously from $255.00) on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, Mizuho raised shares of Essex Property Trust from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $199.00 to $212.00 in a research report on Monday, May 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $249.18.

Analyst Recommendations for Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS)

Shares of Essex Property Trust (NYSE ESS) opened at 266.23 on Monday. Essex Property Trust has a 12 month low of $200.01 and a 12 month high of $266.71. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $252.62 and its 200 day moving average is $234.11. The stock has a market cap of $17.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.11 and a beta of 0.52.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $2.94 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.89 by $0.05. Essex Property Trust had a net margin of 38.94% and a return on equity of 8.04%. The business had revenue of $335.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $332.80 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.68 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Essex Property Trust will post $6.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 30th will be paid a $1.75 dividend. This represents a $7.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 28th. Essex Property Trust’s payout ratio is 89.74%.

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In other Essex Property Trust news, Director Janice L. Sears sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $253.92, for a total value of $761,760.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 3,698 shares in the company, valued at $938,996.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider John F. Burkart sold 167 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $254.75, for a total value of $42,543.25. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 4,652 shares in the company, valued at $1,185,097. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 57,660 shares of company stock worth $14,020,499 over the last quarter. 3.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ESS. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 2,296.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,479,030 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,500,090,000 after buying an additional 6,208,705 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 139.6% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 950,717 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $220,119,000 after buying an additional 553,947 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Essex Property Trust during the fourth quarter worth about $115,399,000. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Essex Property Trust during the third quarter worth about $96,802,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 2.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 11,404,375 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $2,640,455,000 after buying an additional 229,503 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 98.93% of the company’s stock.

About Essex Property Trust

Essex Property Trust, Inc is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust. The Company is engaged primarily in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of predominantly apartment communities, located along the West Coast. Its segments include Southern California, Northern California, Seattle Metro and Other real estate assets.

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