The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “The Ensign Group is exposed to headwinds like rising expenses, heavy debt burden and regulatory uncertainty. Stringent regulations faced by the non-U.S operations of the company also raise concerns. Well reflective of these headwinds, the shares of Ensign Group has lost 1.3% year to date, compared to the 3.8% gain witnessed by the Zacks categorized Nursing Homes industry. Nevertheless, the company operates in the booming post-acute care industry that holds untapped opportunities. In addition, the company’s consistently rising revenues on the back of robust inorganic growth is impressive. “

ENSG has been the subject of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub upgraded The Ensign Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Wells Fargo & Company lowered The Ensign Group from a market perform rating to an underperform rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $22.50.

Shares of The Ensign Group (ENSG) opened at 21.61 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $1.10 billion, a PE ratio of 26.07 and a beta of 0.84. The Ensign Group has a 1-year low of $16.50 and a 1-year high of $23.18. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $19.83 and its 200 day moving average price is $19.67.

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 1st. The company reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.01. The Ensign Group had a return on equity of 13.51% and a net margin of 2.55%. The business had revenue of $441.74 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $435.72 million. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that The Ensign Group will post $1.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 31st. Investors of record on Friday, June 30th will be given a dividend of $0.0425 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 28th. This represents a $0.17 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.79%. The Ensign Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.48%.

In related news, Director John G. Nackel acquired 3,462 shares of The Ensign Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 28th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $17.55 per share, for a total transaction of $60,758.10. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 96,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,697,646.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 6.20% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in The Ensign Group by 36.8% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 6,084 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 1,638 shares in the last quarter. UBS Group AG increased its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 93.9% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 6,986 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 3,383 shares during the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of The Ensign Group during the first quarter valued at $131,000. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 52.2% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 2,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 7.6% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 11,188 shares of the company’s stock valued at $210,000 after buying an additional 786 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.35% of the company’s stock.

About The Ensign Group

The Ensign Group, Inc, through its operating subsidiaries, provides healthcare services across the post-acute care continuum, as well as other ancillary businesses located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

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Analyst Recommendations for The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG)

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