Shares of Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ESS) have been assigned an average rating of “Hold” from the sixteen research firms that are covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $266.10.

Several brokerages have weighed in on ESS. Canaccord Genuity set a $270.00 price objective on Essex Property Trust and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Mizuho lowered Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $283.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, July 31st. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $278.00 price target on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Barclays PLC raised their price target on Essex Property Trust from $267.00 to $269.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Essex Property Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $289.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 18th.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE ESS) opened at 261.51 on Monday. Essex Property Trust has a 1-year low of $200.01 and a 1-year high of $268.97. The stock has a market cap of $17.26 billion, a PE ratio of 33.63 and a beta of 0.52. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $261.14 and its 200 day moving average price is $244.06.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $2.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.92 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $339.06 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $336.17 million. Essex Property Trust had a return on equity of 8.03% and a net margin of 38.33%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.74 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Essex Property Trust will post $6.05 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 30th were issued a $1.75 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 28th. This represents a $7.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.68%. Essex Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio is currently 89.97%.

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In related news, insider John F. Burkart sold 333 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $261.84, for a total value of $87,192.72. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 4,818 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,261,545.12. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Angela L. Kleiman sold 3,417 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $252.35, for a total value of $862,279.95. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,594 shares in the company, valued at $2,673,395.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 27,492 shares of company stock worth $6,963,783 over the last three months. 3.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Essex Property Trust by 2.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 11,404,375 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $2,640,455,000 after buying an additional 229,503 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Essex Property Trust by 2,296.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,479,030 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,500,090,000 after buying an additional 6,208,705 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. raised its position in Essex Property Trust by 0.7% in the first quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 2,350,895 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $544,303,000 after buying an additional 16,150 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in Essex Property Trust by 1.6% in the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,155,778 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $499,156,000 after buying an additional 34,654 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Essex Property Trust by 38.3% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,488,052 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $382,832,000 after buying an additional 412,316 shares during the last quarter. 98.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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