Stifel Nicolaus cut shares of Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Stifel Nicolaus currently has $235.00 price objective on the real estate investment trust’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $280.00.

Several other research analysts have also commented on the company. Royal Bank of Canada restated a buy rating on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research report on Sunday, November 12th. Evercore ISI upgraded Essex Property Trust from an in-line rating to an outperform rating and set a $274.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, December 11th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a hold rating and issued a $257.00 target price on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Monday, November 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Essex Property Trust from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, October 13th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reiterated a hold rating and issued a $270.00 target price on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Essex Property Trust presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $265.94.

Essex Property Trust (ESS) opened at $223.63 on Friday. Essex Property Trust has a 52-week low of $218.41 and a 52-week high of $270.04. The company has a market capitalization of $14,760.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.02, a PEG ratio of 2.89 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a current ratio of 0.83.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The real estate investment trust reported $1.22 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.96 by ($1.74). Essex Property Trust had a return on equity of 8.19% and a net margin of 38.95%. equities research analysts predict that Essex Property Trust will post 11.89 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Investors of record on Friday, December 29th were issued a $1.75 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $7.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.13%. Essex Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 87.72%.

In other Essex Property Trust news, Director Gary P. Martin sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $255.59, for a total value of $255,590.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 6,236 shares in the company, valued at $1,593,859.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Craig K. Zimmerman sold 1,001 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $247.24, for a total value of $247,487.24. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 11,284 shares in the company, valued at $2,789,856.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 9,687 shares of company stock valued at $2,408,772. 3.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in Essex Property Trust in the third quarter valued at $807,000. Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in Essex Property Trust by 6.7% in the third quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 136,981 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $34,797,000 after buying an additional 8,648 shares in the last quarter. Honeywell International Inc. raised its stake in Essex Property Trust by 27.8% in the third quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 21,692 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $5,510,000 after buying an additional 4,712 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Essex Property Trust by 5.5% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 146,507 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $37,217,000 after buying an additional 7,573 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank raised its stake in Essex Property Trust by 32.5% in the third quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 24,482 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $6,385,000 after buying an additional 6,002 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 97.23% of the company’s stock.

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About Essex Property Trust

Essex Property Trust, Inc is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust. The Company is engaged primarily in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of predominantly apartment communities, located along the West Coast. Its segments include Southern California, Northern California, Seattle Metro and Other real estate assets.

Analyst Recommendations for Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS)

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