Shares of The Ensign Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) traded down 2.3% during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $18.34 and last traded at $18.47, with a volume of 189,356 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $18.91.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. SunTrust Banks Inc. lowered their price objective on shares of The Ensign Group from $27.00 to $24.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. TheStreet lowered shares of The Ensign Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 26th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of The Ensign Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and set a $22.00 target price on shares of The Ensign Group in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. lowered shares of The Ensign Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, May 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $25.00.

The company has a 50-day moving average price of $20.63 and a 200 day moving average price of $21.04. The stock has a market cap of $931.43 million and a PE ratio of 20.49.

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.33. The firm earned $410.51 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $400.19 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.60 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 32.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that The Ensign Group Inc. will post $1.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Sunday, July 31st. Investors of record on Thursday, June 30th were given a $0.04 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 28th. This represents a $0.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.87%.

In related news, VP Beverly B. Wittekind sold 18,330 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.29, for a total value of $371,915.70. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 40,861 shares in the company, valued at approximately $829,069.69. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Swiss National Bank raised its position in The Ensign Group by 100.0% in the fourth quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 60,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,371,000 after buying an additional 30,300 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers raised its position in The Ensign Group by 115.3% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 61,112 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,383,000 after buying an additional 32,721 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in The Ensign Group by 25.0% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 81,719 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,849,000 after buying an additional 16,328 shares in the last quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas raised its position in The Ensign Group by 100.0% in the fourth quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas now owns 92,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,082,000 after buying an additional 46,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Argent Capital Management LLC raised its position in The Ensign Group by 143.3% in the fourth quarter. Argent Capital Management LLC now owns 179,206 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,055,000 after buying an additional 105,556 shares in the last quarter.

The Ensign Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides healthcare services across the post-acute care continuum, as well as urgent care centers and mobile ancillary businesses. Its segments include transitional, skilled and assisted living services (TSA services); home health and hospice services, and all other.

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