Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ESS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Essex Property outperformed the industry it belongs to year to date. Moreover, the stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year funds from operations (FFO) per share being revised upward in two months’ time. With a strong property base and solid balance sheet, Essex is likely to leverage on favorable demographic trends in its markets. The company’s substantial exposure to the West Coast market, which is home to several innovation and technology companies, offers ample scope to boost its top line over the long term. Moreover, the company has raised the dividend every year since the IPO in 1994. However, large concession amid elevated supply is likely to result in periodic disruption in certain submarkets. Also, rate hike adds to its woes.”

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on ESS. BidaskClub upgraded Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on Essex Property Trust in a research report on Friday, September 1st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $294.00 price target for the company. Mizuho lowered Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $283.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Canaccord Genuity set a $270.00 price target on Essex Property Trust and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and issued a $273.00 price target on shares of Essex Property Trust in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Essex Property Trust currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $268.07.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The real estate investment trust reported $2.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.92 by $0.05. The business 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 business earned $2.74 earnings per share.

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In other Essex Property Trust news, insider John D. Eudy sold 166 shares of Essex Property Trust stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $257.92, for a total value of $42,814.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Michael J. Schall sold 333 shares of Essex Property Trust stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $257.92, for a total transaction of $85,887.36. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 45,096 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,631,160.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 11,397 shares of company stock valued at $3,022,662 over the last ninety days. 3.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ESS. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its stake in Essex Property Trust by 145.3% in the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 471 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $121,000 after acquiring an additional 279 shares during the period. Sun Life Financial INC grew its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 5,900.0% during the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 480 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 472 shares during the period. FNY Partners Fund LP purchased a new stake in shares of Essex Property Trust during the 1st quarter valued at $165,000. Perigon Wealth Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 835.2% during the 1st quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 823 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $192,000 after buying an additional 735 shares during the period. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Essex Property Trust during the 2nd quarter valued at $203,000. 99.46% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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