Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ESS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Essex Property outperformed the Zacks categorized REIT and Equity Trust – Residential industry in the past three months. Additionally, funds from operations (FFO) per share estimates for second-quarter and full-year 2017 moved north over the past 30 days. Moving ahead, with a strong property base and solid balance sheet, Essex is likely to leverage on favorable demographic trends in its markets. Moreover, the company has a 23-year history of increasing cash dividend. However, there have been consistent apartment deliveries in its markets. Amid this, pricing power is anticipated to moderate and aggressive rental concessions are likely to continue.”

A number of other research firms have also commented on ESS. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $248.00 price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. BidaskClub lowered Essex Property Trust from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Mizuho upgraded Essex Property Trust from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $199.00 to $212.00 in a research note on Monday, May 1st. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and set a $269.00 price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research note on Wednesday, May 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity set a $255.00 price objective on Essex Property Trust and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $253.92.

Shares of Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) traded up 0.82% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $255.61. The company had a trading volume of 122,443 shares. Essex Property Trust has a 12-month low of $200.01 and a 12-month high of $268.97. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $260.16 and its 200-day moving average is $238.93. The stock has a market capitalization of $16.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.75 and a beta of 0.52.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $2.94 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.89 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $335.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $332.80 million. Essex Property Trust had a return on equity of 8.04% and a net margin of 38.94%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.68 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Essex Property Trust will post $6.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Essex Property Trust news, insider Michael J. Schall sold 13,668 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $252.63, for a total value of $3,452,946.84. Following the sale, the insider now owns 58,431 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,761,423.53. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider John F. Burkart sold 6,667 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $248.71, for a total value of $1,658,149.57. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 11,152 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,773,613.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 32,826 shares of company stock worth $8,272,799. Company insiders own 3.30% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of ESS. Gemmer Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 0.7% in the first quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 4,235 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $981,000 after buying an additional 29 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 8.0% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 6,387 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,479,000 after buying an additional 475 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. National Pension Service increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 7.2% in the first quarter. National Pension Service now owns 58,109 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $13,514,000 after buying an additional 3,888 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gulf International Bank UK Ltd increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 1.5% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 20,350 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $4,711,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. 99.92% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Essex Property Trust Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS)

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