Bank of Nova Scotia reduced its stake in Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) by 13.6% in the second quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 7,263 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock after selling 1,145 shares during the period. Bank of Nova Scotia’s holdings in Essex Property Trust were worth $1,737,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 35.4% during the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 130,528 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $31,416,000 after purchasing an additional 34,116 shares in the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 10.1% during the first quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 6,056 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,458,000 after purchasing an additional 554 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 25.2% during the first quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 35,596 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $8,566,000 after purchasing an additional 7,154 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 5.5% during the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 42,421 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $10,210,000 after purchasing an additional 2,227 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its stake in shares of Essex Property Trust by 2.9% during the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 95,661 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $23,041,000 after purchasing an additional 2,670 shares in the last quarter. 96.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on ESS shares. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on shares of Essex Property Trust from $267.00 to $260.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, June 14th. Mizuho reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $263.00 price target on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Monday, August 6th. Barclays cut their price target on shares of Essex Property Trust from $272.00 to $269.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 17th. Citigroup cut shares of Essex Property Trust from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $280.00 to $260.00 in a report on Friday, September 14th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of Essex Property Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $235.00 to $260.00 in a report on Thursday, August 2nd. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $263.44.

In other news, insider Angela L. Kleiman sold 750 shares of Essex Property Trust stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $240.80, for a total transaction of $180,600.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 9,149 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,203,079.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 3.30% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Essex Property Trust stock opened at $241.89 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $16.06 billion, a PE ratio of 20.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.17 and a beta of 0.30. Essex Property Trust Inc has a 1-year low of $214.03 and a 1-year high of $264.07. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 1.85 and a current ratio of 1.85.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 1st. The real estate investment trust reported $3.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.10 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $348.72 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $348.58 million. Essex Property Trust had a net margin of 27.05% and a return on equity of 5.52%. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $2.97 EPS. equities analysts expect that Essex Property Trust Inc will post 12.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 28th will be paid a dividend of $1.86 per share. This represents a $7.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 27th. Essex Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio is presently 62.47%.

About Essex Property Trust

Essex Property Trust, Inc, an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily residential properties in selected West Coast markets. The Company currently has ownership interests in 247 apartment communities comprising approximately 60,000 apartment homes, excluding six properties in various stages of active development, one commercial building, preferred equity co-investments, and loan investments.

Featured Story: Average Daily Trade Volume – What It Means In Stock Trading

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding ESS? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS)

Receive News & Ratings for Essex Property Trust Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Essex Property Trust and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.