Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) saw unusually-high trading volume on Friday . Approximately 250,665 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 65% from the previous session’s volume of 152,111 shares.The stock last traded at $30.82 and had previously closed at $30.29.

ESND has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Essendant from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 30th. KeyCorp upgraded shares of Essendant from a “sector weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $40.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, April 1st.

The company’s 50-day moving average is $30.84 and its 200-day moving average is $30.55. The company’s market cap is $1.15 billion.

Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 20th. The company reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.01. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.46 earnings per share. The firm had revenue of $1.35 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.31 billion. Essendant’s revenue was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Essendant Inc. will post $3.29 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 13th. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.82%.

In related news, SVP Eric A. Blanchard sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.03, for a total value of $136,120.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 40,426 shares in the company, valued at $1,375,696.78. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, COO Timothy P. Connolly sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.62, for a total transaction of $158,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 43,207 shares in the company, valued at $1,366,205.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have made changes to their positions in ESND. Matarin Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Essendant during the fourth quarter valued at $6,141,000. CNA Financial Corp raised its position in shares of Essendant by 39.1% in the fourth quarter. CNA Financial Corp now owns 42,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,394,000 after buying an additional 12,050 shares in the last quarter. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc raised its position in shares of Essendant by 27.4% in the fourth quarter. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc now owns 58,556 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,904,000 after buying an additional 12,606 shares in the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. raised its position in shares of Essendant by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 31,032 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,009,000 after buying an additional 325 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of Essendant by 16.6% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,354,220 shares of the company’s stock valued at $44,026,000 after buying an additional 192,843 shares in the last quarter.

Essendant Inc, formerly United Stationers Inc, is a wholesale distributor of workplace essentials. The Company stocks an assortment of over 160,000 products in categories, including technology products, traditional office products, office furniture, janitorial and breakroom supplies, industrial supplies, and automotive aftermarket tools and equipment.

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