Covington Capital Management Sells 50 Shares of Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS)

Covington Capital Management decreased its position in Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) by 5.4% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 874 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock after selling 50 shares during the quarter. Covington Capital Management’s holdings in Essex Property Trust were worth $263,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Eventide Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Essex Property Trust in the third quarter valued at approximately $588,000. Millennium Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 255.2% in the third quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 51,215 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $16,729,000 after acquiring an additional 36,797 shares during the last quarter. Virtu Financial LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Essex Property Trust in the third quarter worth $678,000. Bluefin Trading LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Essex Property Trust in the third quarter worth $817,000. Finally, Worldquant Millennium Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 5.7% in the third quarter. Worldquant Millennium Advisors LLC now owns 3,642 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,189,000 after acquiring an additional 198 shares during the last quarter. 97.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In other Essex Property Trust news, CEO Michael J. Schall sold 13,068 shares of Essex Property Trust stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $319.90, for a total transaction of $4,180,453.20. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 55,177 shares in the company, valued at $17,651,122.30. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Irving F. Lyons III sold 2,838 shares of Essex Property Trust stock in a transaction on Friday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $309.92, for a total transaction of $879,552.96. Following the sale, the director now owns 10,710 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,319,243.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 25,284 shares of company stock worth $8,021,837 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 3.60% of the company’s stock.

ESS opened at $200.77 on Thursday. Essex Property Trust Inc has a fifty-two week low of $175.81 and a fifty-two week high of $334.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 1.36 and a quick ratio of 1.36. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $287.28 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $308.00. The company has a market capitalization of $12.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.10, a P/E/G ratio of 2.75 and a beta of 0.43.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 29th. The real estate investment trust reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.42 by ($1.47). Essex Property Trust had a return on equity of 6.90% and a net margin of 30.08%. The business had revenue of $375.37 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $373.65 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $3.19 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Essex Property Trust Inc will post 13.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 31st will be paid a dividend of $2.0775 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 30th. This represents a $8.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.14%. This is an increase from Essex Property Trust’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.95. Essex Property Trust’s payout ratio is currently 58.30%.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on ESS. Zelman & Associates upgraded shares of Essex Property Trust from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded shares of Essex Property Trust from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $320.00 to $315.00 in a research note on Wednesday, December 18th. SunTrust Banks raised their price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust from $315.00 to $330.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 21st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets downgraded shares of Essex Property Trust from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $320.00 to $295.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Essex Property Trust presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $331.64.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS)

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