Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) Upgraded at BMO Capital Markets

BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report released on Monday, Price Targets.com reports. BMO Capital Markets currently has $310.00 price target on the real estate investment trust’s stock, up from their prior price target of $275.00.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on ESS. Mizuho raised their target price on shares of Essex Property Trust from $280.00 to $305.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, March 15th. Raymond James reaffirmed a sell rating on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research note on Tuesday, February 23rd. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Essex Property Trust from $283.00 to $309.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Monday, March 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada assumed coverage on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research note on Tuesday, March 30th. They issued an outperform rating and a $303.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Citigroup Inc. 3% Minimum Coupon Principal Protected Based Upon Russell raised their target price on shares of Essex Property Trust from $235.00 to $250.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $268.75.

ESS stock opened at $282.83 on Monday. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $272.98 and a 200-day moving average of $243.18. The company has a current ratio of 3.14, a quick ratio of 3.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05. Essex Property Trust has a 12 month low of $186.30 and a 12 month high of $294.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $18.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.98, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 7.69 and a beta of 0.79.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 4th. The real estate investment trust reported $1.47 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.12 by ($1.65). Essex Property Trust had a net margin of 39.89% and a return on equity of 9.46%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.95 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts predict that Essex Property Trust will post 12.91 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 31st will be paid a $2.09 dividend. This represents a $8.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.96%. This is an increase from Essex Property Trust’s previous quarterly dividend of $2.08. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 30th. Essex Property Trust’s payout ratio is presently 62.48%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Pensionfund DSM Netherlands increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 3.9% in the first quarter. Pensionfund DSM Netherlands now owns 17,145 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $4,661,000 after buying an additional 645 shares during the period. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 39.4% in the fourth quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 34,145 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $8,064,000 after buying an additional 9,648 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Essex Property Trust by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 325,580 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $77,299,000 after acquiring an additional 4,027 shares in the last quarter. B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. Holding AG bought a new stake in Essex Property Trust in the fourth quarter valued at $204,000. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in Essex Property Trust by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,073,166 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $254,793,000 after acquiring an additional 12,119 shares in the last quarter. 95.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Essex Property Trust

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 246 apartment communities comprising approximately 60,000 apartment homes with an additional 6 properties in various stages of active development.

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Analyst Recommendations for Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS)

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