Short Interest in ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESSA) Grows By 24.2%

ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESSA) saw a significant growth in short interest in April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 124,600 shares, a growth of 24.2% from the March 31st total of 100,300 shares. Approximately 1.4% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 27,200 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.6 days.

Shares of NASDAQ ESSA traded down $0.25 on Tuesday, hitting $15.44. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 23,720 shares, compared to its average volume of 25,360. ESSA Bancorp has a 12-month low of $11.05 and a 12-month high of $18.23. The company has a market capitalization of $167.08 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.37 and a beta of 0.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 0.95 and a quick ratio of 0.95. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $16.03 and a 200-day moving average of $15.34.

ESSA Bancorp (NASDAQ:ESSA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 30th. The financial services provider reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.05. ESSA Bancorp had a net margin of 18.64% and a return on equity of 7.51%. Sell-side analysts expect that ESSA Bancorp will post 1.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 31st. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 16th were paid a dividend of $0.12 per share. This is an increase from ESSA Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 15th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.11%. ESSA Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.53%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Strs Ohio lifted its stake in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 23.4% during the first quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 25,800 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $412,000 after buying an additional 4,900 shares during the period. Andesa Financial Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 100.0% during the first quarter. Andesa Financial Management Inc. now owns 80,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,280,000 after buying an additional 40,000 shares during the period. Los Angeles Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 5.5% during the fourth quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management LLC now owns 18,085 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $271,000 after buying an additional 939 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in ESSA Bancorp by 21.4% during the fourth quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 73,089 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,096,000 after purchasing an additional 12,877 shares during the period. Finally, Barclays PLC raised its stake in ESSA Bancorp by 51.2% during the fourth quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 6,347 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $95,000 after purchasing an additional 2,148 shares during the period. 44.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several analysts have issued reports on ESSA shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of ESSA Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 5th. TheStreet raised shares of ESSA Bancorp from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Thursday, March 4th.

ESSA Bancorp Company Profile

ESSA Bancorp, Inc operates as a bank holding company for ESSA Bank & Trust that provides a range of financial products and services to individuals, families, and businesses in Pennsylvania. The company accepts savings accounts, interest bearing demand accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, club accounts, certificates of deposit and IRAs, and other qualified plan accounts, as well as commercial checking accounts.

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