PGGM Investments continued to hold its position in shares of Essex Property Trust Inc. (NYSE:ESS) during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 609,004 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock at the end of the second quarter. PGGM Investments’ holdings in Essex Property Trust were worth $138,908,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. HBK Investments L P bought a new stake in Essex Property Trust during the first quarter worth $934,000. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt increased its stake in Essex Property Trust by 47.9% in the second quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt now owns 7,100 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,619,000 after buying an additional 2,300 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Essex Property Trust during the fourth quarter worth $66,784,000. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in Essex Property Trust by 3.1% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 400,591 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $93,674,000 after buying an additional 12,029 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Chilton Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Essex Property Trust by 11.6% in the first quarter. Chilton Capital Management LLC now owns 68,643 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $16,053,000 after buying an additional 7,121 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 98.99% of the company’s stock.

Essex Property Trust Inc. (NYSE:ESS) traded up 1.85% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $230.23. 602,229 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Essex Property Trust Inc. has a 52-week low of $191.25 and a 52-week high of $244.71. The firm has a market cap of $15.08 billion, a PE ratio of 55.36 and a beta of 0.85. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $226.77 and its 200 day moving average is $225.31.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The real estate investment trust reported $2.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.70 by $0.04. Essex Property Trust had a net margin of 22.25% and a return on equity of 4.38%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $2.40 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Essex Property Trust Inc. will post $11.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Investors of record on Friday, September 30th will be given a dividend of $1.60 per share. This represents a $6.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.78%. Essex Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio is currently 153.85%.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on ESS shares. BTIG Research started coverage on Essex Property Trust in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $260.00 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group downgraded Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $265.00 to $230.00 in a report on Wednesday, June 8th. Barclays PLC increased their price target on Essex Property Trust from $242.00 to $243.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $239.00 price target (down from $246.00) on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Monday, August 1st. Finally, Evercore Partners Inc. reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Friday, July 15th. Fourteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Essex Property Trust currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $245.97.

In related news, CEO Michael J. Schall sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $222.23, for a total transaction of $2,222,300.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 47,954 shares in the company, valued at $10,656,817.42. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider John D. Eudy sold 2,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $226.41, for a total transaction of $566,025.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 9,268 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,098,367.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.50% of the company’s stock.

About Essex Property Trust

Essex Property Trust, Inc is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company owns all of its interest in its real estate and other investments directly or indirectly through Essex Portfolio, L.P. (the Operating Partnership). The Company is engaged in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of apartment communities.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:ESS

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