ValuEngine lowered shares of Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday.

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on ESND. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Essendant from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Essendant from a c- rating to a d+ rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Essendant from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the stock. Essendant has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $16.50.

Shares of Essendant (ESND) traded up 1.14% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $13.34. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 97,340 shares. Essendant has a 12-month low of $11.26 and a 12-month high of $22.52. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $12.22 and a 200 day moving average of $14.22. The firm’s market capitalization is $500.64 million.

Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.37 by ($0.09). The firm had revenue of $1.26 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.31 billion. Essendant had a positive return on equity of 5.75% and a negative net margin of 2.87%. The company’s revenue was down 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.55 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Essendant will post $1.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 12th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be given a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.25%. Essendant’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -13.73%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Clinton Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Essendant by 93.5% during the 1st quarter. Clinton Group Inc. now owns 44,427 shares of the company’s stock worth $673,000 after purchasing an additional 21,464 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of Essendant by 9.6% during the 1st quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 177,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,694,000 after purchasing an additional 15,500 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of Essendant by 38.1% during the 1st quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 209,669 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,176,000 after purchasing an additional 57,829 shares during the last quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System raised its position in shares of Essendant by 6.1% during the 1st quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 99,599 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,509,000 after purchasing an additional 5,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its position in shares of Essendant by 63.6% during the 1st quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 265,380 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,021,000 after purchasing an additional 103,196 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.09% of the company’s stock.

Essendant Company Profile

Essendant Inc (Essendant) is a wholesale distributor of workplace items. The Company’s product portfolio includes Janitorial, Foodservice and Breakroom Supplies (JanSan), Technology Products, Traditional Office Products, Industrial Supplies, Cut Sheet Paper Products, Automotive Products and Office Furniture.

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