Research analysts at Stephens started coverage on shares of The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) in a report issued on Monday, The Fly reports. The firm set an “equal weight” rating on the stock.

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on ENSG. ValuEngine raised The Ensign Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised The Ensign Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 24th. BidaskClub downgraded The Ensign Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. Oppenheimer set a $64.00 price target on The Ensign Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 26th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on The Ensign Group from $52.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The Ensign Group has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.50.

Shares of ENSG traded up $0.28 on Monday, hitting $42.19. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 208,525 shares, compared to its average volume of 300,826. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.85. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $45.75 and its 200-day moving average price is $52.04. The Ensign Group has a fifty-two week low of $35.93 and a fifty-two week high of $63.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.57, a P/E/G ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 0.90.

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 1st. The company reported $0.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.01. The Ensign Group had a return on equity of 17.32% and a net margin of 4.74%. The business had revenue of $575.65 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $574.24 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.44 EPS. The Ensign Group’s quarterly revenue was up 16.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts predict that The Ensign Group will post 2.11 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Spencer Burton sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.00, for a total transaction of $60,000.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 19,351 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,161,060. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 2,612 shares of company stock valued at $149,118. Insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in The Ensign Group by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,713,644 shares of the company’s stock valued at $439,060,000 after acquiring an additional 229,895 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in The Ensign Group by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,250,577 shares of the company’s stock valued at $355,783,000 after acquiring an additional 179,105 shares during the period. Wasatch Advisors Inc. raised its stake in The Ensign Group by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Wasatch Advisors Inc. now owns 3,815,921 shares of the company’s stock valued at $217,202,000 after acquiring an additional 46,531 shares during the period. Copeland Capital Management LLC raised its stake in The Ensign Group by 21.2% in the 2nd quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC now owns 815,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,413,000 after acquiring an additional 142,478 shares during the period. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in The Ensign Group by 100.6% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 776,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $43,680,000 after acquiring an additional 389,284 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 82.07% of the company’s stock.

About The Ensign Group

The Ensign Group, Inc provides health care services in the post-acute care continuum and other ancillary businesses. The company operates in three segments: Transitional and Skilled Services; Assisted and Independent Living Services; and Home Health and Hospice Services. The Transitional and Skilled Services segment offers a range of medical, nursing, rehabilitative, and pharmacy services, as well as routine services, such as daily dietary, social, and recreational services to Medicaid, private pay, managed care, and Medicare payors.

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