Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its holdings in Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) by 0.1% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 285,229 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 406 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.76% of Essendant worth $4,230,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of ESND. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its holdings in shares of Essendant by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 83,686 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,268,000 after purchasing an additional 933 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in shares of Essendant by 19.1% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 33,686 shares of the company’s stock worth $510,000 after purchasing an additional 5,396 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its holdings in shares of Essendant by 11.3% in the 1st quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 54,269 shares of the company’s stock worth $821,000 after purchasing an additional 5,513 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Essendant by 7.1% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 695,945 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,542,000 after purchasing an additional 46,218 shares in the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Essendant in the 1st quarter worth $477,000. 94.09% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ ESND) opened at 13.19 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $12.22 and a 200-day moving average price of $14.22. Essendant Inc. has a 1-year low of $11.26 and a 1-year high of $22.52. The stock’s market capitalization is $495.01 million.

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

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

ESND has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. BidaskClub lowered Essendant from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. TheStreet lowered Essendant from a “c-” rating to a “d+” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. ValuEngine downgraded Essendant from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Essendant from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $16.50.

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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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND)

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