Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ESS) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty research firms that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $270.50.

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $276.00 target price (up from $267.00) on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research report on Sunday, August 13th. BidaskClub raised Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Canaccord Genuity set a $270.00 target price on Essex Property Trust and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $280.00 target price on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. Finally, Mizuho lowered Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $283.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, July 31st.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE ESS) opened at 255.00 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $263.80 and a 200-day moving average of $252.81. The firm has a market capitalization of $16.83 billion, a PE ratio of 32.79 and a beta of 0.53. Essex Property Trust has a one year low of $200.01 and a one year high of $270.04.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $2.97 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.92 by $0.05. Essex Property Trust had a return on equity of 8.03% and a net margin of 38.33%. The firm had revenue of $339.06 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $336.17 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.74 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Essex Property Trust will post $5.89 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Friday, September 29th will be paid a dividend of $1.75 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 28th. This represents a $7.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.75%. Essex Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio is currently 89.97%.

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In related news, insider John D. Eudy sold 166 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $253.79, for a total transaction of $42,129.14. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 8,596 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,181,578.84. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Michael J. Schall sold 333 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $263.97, for a total value of $87,902.01. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 45,096 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,903,991.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 11,314 shares of company stock valued at $2,999,949 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 3.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Perigon Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 42.5% during the second quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,173 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $304,000 after buying an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. bought a new position in Essex Property Trust during the second quarter valued at about $540,000. Phocas Financial Corp. boosted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 3.4% during the second quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. now owns 4,252 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,094,000 after buying an additional 138 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 25.6% during the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 22,221 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $5,715,000 after buying an additional 4,535 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers bought a new position in Essex Property Trust during the second quarter valued at about $665,000. 99.43% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS)

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