JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its stake in Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) by 22.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 932,854 shares of the company’s stock after selling 270,444 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. owned approximately 2.50% of Essendant worth $28,508,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Arizona State Retirement System raised its position in shares of Essendant by 3.8% in the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 19,140 shares of the company’s stock valued at $611,000 after buying an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its position in shares of Essendant by 9.3% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 2,819,324 shares of the company’s stock valued at $90,020,000 after buying an additional 240,669 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Essendant by 189.1% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 134,587 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,297,000 after buying an additional 88,027 shares in the last quarter. AXA raised its position in shares of Essendant by 4,318.2% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 97,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,104,000 after buying an additional 95,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Essendant by 0.8% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 854,117 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,271,000 after buying an additional 6,759 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.98% of the company’s stock.

Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) traded up 0.10% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $19.69. 88,978 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm’s market capitalization is $734.38 million. Essendant Inc. has a 52 week low of $18.56 and a 52 week high of $36.96. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $19.40 and its 200 day moving average is $27.66.

Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.83 by $0.28. Essendant had a negative net margin of 0.72% and a positive return on equity of 13.75%. The company earned $1.35 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.36 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.82 earnings per share. Essendant’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Essendant Inc. will post $2.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.85%. Essendant’s payout ratio is -52.34%.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Essendant from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 25th.

In related news, COO Timothy P. Connolly sold 5,765 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.24, for a total value of $110,918.60. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 40,773 shares in the company, valued at $784,472.52. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 1.60% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

About Essendant

Essendant Inc (Essendant), formerly United Stationers Inc, is a wholesale distributor of workplace items. The Company stocks an assortment of over 180,000 products in categories, including janitorial and breakroom supplies, technology products, traditional office products, industrial supplies, office furniture, and automotive aftermarket tools and equipment.

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