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

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. 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, the company has raised the dividend every year since the IPO in 1994. However, large concession amid elevated supply is likely to result in periodic disruption in certain submarkets. Also, rate hike adds to its woes.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and issued a $278.00 target price on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Barclays PLC upped their target price on Essex Property Trust from $267.00 to $269.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. downgraded Essex Property Trust from an “outperform” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $270.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. BTIG Research downgraded Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $268.07.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $2.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.92 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $339.06 million during 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 period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.74 earnings per share.

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In other news, insider John F. Burkart sold 333 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $261.84, for a total transaction of $87,192.72. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 4,818 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,261,545.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider John D. Eudy sold 166 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $257.92, for a total transaction of $42,814.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 11,397 shares of company stock valued at $3,022,662 in the last three months. Company insiders own 3.30% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its holdings in shares of Essex Property Trust by 9.3% during the third quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 469 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 40 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its holdings in shares of Essex Property Trust by 145.3% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 471 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 279 shares in the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank increased its holdings in shares of Essex Property Trust by 1.3% during the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 472 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 6 shares in the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC increased its holdings in shares of Essex Property Trust by 5,900.0% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 480 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $123,000 after buying an additional 472 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TLP Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Essex Property Trust during the third quarter worth approximately $118,000. 99.46% of the stock is 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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