Shares of Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) have earned an average rating of “Hold” from the six research firms that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $16.50.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on ESND shares. ValuEngine raised shares of Essendant from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. BidaskClub cut shares of Essendant from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 12th. TheStreet cut shares of Essendant from a “c-” rating to a “d+” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Essendant from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st.

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Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) opened at 13.00 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $12.74 and a 200-day moving average of $14.11. Essendant has a one year low of $11.26 and a one year high of $22.52. The company’s market cap is $487.88 million.

Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by ($0.09). The business had revenue of $1.26 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.31 billion. Essendant had a negative net margin of 2.87% and a positive return on equity of 5.75%. The business’s revenue was down 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.55 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Essendant will post $1.09 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 12th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be paid a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.31%. Essendant’s payout ratio is currently -13.73%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Essendant by 3.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,591,083 shares of the company’s stock valued at $53,256,000 after buying an additional 115,071 shares in the last quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Essendant by 1.7% in the second quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 3,492,271 shares of the company’s stock valued at $51,790,000 after buying an additional 57,506 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in Essendant by 11.6% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,698,887 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,024,000 after buying an additional 281,356 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in Essendant by 4.0% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,046,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,530,000 after buying an additional 40,450 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC acquired a new position in Essendant in the second quarter valued at about $13,369,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.09% of the company’s stock.

Essendant Company Profile

Essendant Inc (Essendant) is a wholesale distributor of workplace items. The Company’s product portfolio includes Janitorial, Foodservice and Breakroom Supplies (JanSan), Technology Products, Traditional Office Products, Industrial Supplies, Cut Sheet Paper Products, Automotive Products and Office Furniture.

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