California State Teachers Retirement System trimmed its position in shares of Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) by 1.6% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 110,366 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock after selling 1,742 shares during the period. California State Teachers Retirement System owned approximately 0.17% of Essex Property Trust worth $27,063,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Ironwood Financial llc acquired a new stake in Essex Property Trust during the 4th quarter valued at $25,000. Acadian Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Essex Property Trust during the 4th quarter valued at $87,000. Capital Guardian Trust Co. bought a new position in Essex Property Trust during the 3rd quarter valued at $113,000. Loeb Partners Corp bought a new position in Essex Property Trust during the 4th quarter valued at $123,000. Finally, Girard Partners LTD. bought a new position in Essex Property Trust during the 3rd quarter valued at $184,000. 95.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Essex Property Trust stock opened at $290.93 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 1.76 and a current ratio of 1.76. Essex Property Trust Inc has a 1 year low of $226.22 and a 1 year high of $291.23. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.85 billion, a PE ratio of 23.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.83 and a beta of 0.47.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 29th will be given a $1.95 dividend. This is an increase from Essex Property Trust’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.86. This represents a $7.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 28th. Essex Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 59.19%.
In other news, EVP John F. Burkart sold 332 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $255.51, for a total value of $84,829.32. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,064 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,804,922.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider John D. Eudy sold 3,750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $276.06, for a total transaction of $1,035,225.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 14,205 shares in the company, valued at $3,921,432.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 11,406 shares of company stock worth $3,049,725. Insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.
A number of research firms have commented on ESS. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $260.00 price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of Essex Property Trust from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $262.00 to $284.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust from $258.00 to $262.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 15th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust from $260.00 to $292.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, December 17th. Finally, Citigroup set a $275.00 price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. Essex Property Trust currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $269.54.
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 245 apartment communities with an additional 6 properties in various stages of active development.
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