Short Interest in Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) Drops By 17.2%

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Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) was the target of a significant decline in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 952,500 shares, a decline of 17.2% from the December 15th total of 1,150,000 shares. Approximately 1.5% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 376,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.5 days.

Shares of Essex Property Trust stock traded down $3.68 on Tuesday, hitting $301.82. 335,081 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 439,687. The stock has a market capitalization of $19.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.44 and a beta of 0.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a current ratio of 1.59. Essex Property Trust has a 52 week low of $249.13 and a 52 week high of $334.17. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $303.18 and a 200 day simple moving average of $312.59.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last released 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 consensus estimate of $3.36 by ($1.83). Essex Property Trust had a net margin of 29.78% and a return on equity of 6.73%. The company had revenue of $366.93 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $365.49 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $3.15 EPS. Research analysts expect that Essex Property Trust will post 13.35 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, January 2nd will be given a $1.95 dividend. This represents a $7.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.58%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 31st. Essex Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio is presently 62.05%.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on ESS shares. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Friday, November 8th. They set a “buy” rating and a $355.00 price target on the stock. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Essex Property Trust from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $341.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, November 19th. KeyCorp lifted their price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust from $320.00 to $342.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. Barclays set a $350.00 price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 11th. Finally, Sandler O’Neill upgraded shares of Essex Property Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $355.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, November 18th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $330.21.

In other Essex Property Trust news, EVP Craig K. Zimmerman sold 4,379 shares of Essex Property Trust stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $310.59, for a total transaction of $1,360,073.61. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 12,845 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,989,528.55. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 3.60% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its position in Essex Property Trust by 2.8% in the second quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 14,768 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $3,786,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. increased its position in Essex Property Trust by 4.3% in the third quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 330,268 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $107,882,000 after purchasing an additional 13,718 shares during the last quarter. Eventide Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Essex Property Trust in the third quarter worth $588,000. Millennium Management LLC increased its position in 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 purchasing an additional 36,797 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Virtu Financial LLC bought a new stake in Essex Property Trust in the third quarter worth $678,000. Institutional investors own 96.51% of the company’s stock.

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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