Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ESS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $289.00 price target on the real estate investment trust’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 11.70% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Essex Property outperformed the industry it belongs to year to date. Moreover, the stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year funds from operations (FFO) per share being revised upward in two months’ time. Notably, the company delivered a better-than-expected performance for second-quarter 2017. Results reflect solid growth in revenues. With a strong property base and solid balance sheet, Essex is likely to leverage on favorable demographic trends in its markets. The company’s substantial exposure to the West Coast market, which is home to several innovation and technology companies, offers ample scope to boost its top line over the long term. Moreover, it has a 23-year history of increasing cash dividend. However, in the upcoming period, large concession amid elevated supply is likely to result in periodic disruption in certain submarkets. Also, rate hike adds to its woes.”

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the company. 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. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $273.00 target price on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on Essex Property Trust in a research report on Friday, September 1st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $294.00 target price on the stock. BidaskClub raised Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $280.00 target price (up previously from $269.00) on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $268.07.

Shares of Essex Property Trust (NYSE ESS) traded up 0.43% on Tuesday, reaching $258.72. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 296,126 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average is $260.60 and its 200-day moving average is $255.42. Essex Property Trust has a 1-year low of $200.01 and a 1-year high of $270.04. The stock has a market cap of $17.07 billion, a PE ratio of 33.27 and a beta of 0.53.

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

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In other news, Director Byron A. Scordelis sold 6,265 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $267.39, for a total transaction of $1,675,198.35. Following the transaction, the director now owns 4,986 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,333,206.54. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider John D. Eudy sold 166 shares of the 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 transaction, the insider now directly owns 8,596 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,181,578.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 10,981 shares of company stock valued at $2,914,681 over the last 90 days. 3.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Perpetual Ltd bought a new position in shares of Essex Property Trust during the 2nd quarter worth about $4,002,000. Perigon Wealth Management LLC lifted its position in Essex Property Trust by 42.5% in the 2nd quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,173 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $304,000 after acquiring an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. bought a new position in Essex Property Trust in the 2nd quarter valued at about $540,000. Phocas Financial Corp. lifted its position in Essex Property Trust by 3.4% in the 2nd quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. now owns 4,252 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,094,000 after acquiring an additional 138 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Toronto Dominion Bank lifted its position in Essex Property Trust by 25.6% in the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 22,221 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $5,715,000 after acquiring an additional 4,535 shares in the last quarter. 99.46% of the stock is currently owned by 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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