Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) saw a significant growth in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,250,000 shares, a growth of 8.7% from the September 30th total of 1,150,000 shares. Currently, 1.9% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 318,800 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.9 days.

Shares of ESS opened at $319.00 on Monday. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $324.94 and its 200 day moving average price is $308.01. Essex Property Trust has a 12-month low of $235.51 and a 12-month high of $334.17. The stock has a market capitalization of $20.77 billion, a PE ratio of 25.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.75 and a beta of 0.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 1.59 and a quick ratio of 1.59.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 23rd. The real estate investment trust reported $1.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.36 by ($1.83). Essex Property Trust had a return on equity of 6.73% and a net margin of 29.78%. The firm had revenue of $366.93 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $365.49 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $3.15 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Essex Property Trust will post 13.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Michael J. Schall sold 35,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $319.22, for a total transaction of $11,252,505.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 75,101 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $23,973,741.22. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP John F. Burkart sold 1,546 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $321.99, for a total transaction of $497,796.54. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 5,465 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,759,675.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 44,405 shares of company stock valued at $14,206,050 in the last ninety days. 3.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 0.5% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,673,644 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $3,115,957,000 after purchasing an additional 52,605 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 7.6% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,210,865 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $353,488,000 after buying an additional 85,299 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 240.0% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 989,844 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $288,964,000 after buying an additional 698,750 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 1.0% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 965,211 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $281,775,000 after buying an additional 9,765 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its stake in Essex Property Trust by 10.9% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 878,226 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $256,381,000 after buying an additional 86,426 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on ESS. BMO Capital Markets set a $310.00 price target on shares of Essex Property Trust and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 24th. Barclays set a $350.00 price target on shares of Essex Property Trust and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 11th. BTIG Research raised shares of Essex Property Trust from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $335.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, August 15th. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price target on shares of Essex Property Trust from $322.00 to $350.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 29th. Finally, KeyCorp raised their price target on shares of Essex Property Trust from $320.00 to $342.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $324.43.

Essex Property Trust Company Profile

Essex Property Trust, Inc, an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily residential properties in selected West Coast markets. Essex currently has ownership interests in 245 apartment communities with an additional 6 properties in various stages of active development.

Read More: Return on Equity (ROE)

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