Citigroup upgraded shares of Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday morning, MarketBeat reports. Citigroup currently has $280.00 target price on the real estate investment trust’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. BTIG Research raised Essex Property Trust from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $273.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Evercore ISI raised Essex Property Trust from an in-line rating to an outperform rating and set a $274.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, December 11th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and set a $257.00 price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Monday, November 27th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a buy rating on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Sunday, November 12th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a buy rating and set a $279.00 price objective on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $271.19.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE ESS) traded up $0.79 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $249.79. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 742,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 349,632. Essex Property Trust has a 1 year low of $218.41 and a 1 year high of $270.04. The stock has a market cap of $16,495.71, a PE ratio of 21.35, a P/E/G ratio of 3.37 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a current ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 29th will be paid a $1.75 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $7.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.80%. Essex Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 87.61%.

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 stock was sold at an average price of $257.92, for a total value of $42,814.72. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 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 value of $85,887.36. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 45,096 shares in the company, valued at $11,631,160.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 10,269 shares of company stock worth $2,558,882 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 3.30% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its position in shares of 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 buying an additional 279 shares during the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC boosted its position in shares of Essex Property Trust by 5,900.0% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 480 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $123,000 after purchasing an additional 472 shares in the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Essex Property Trust during the second quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Breton Hill Capital Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Essex Property Trust during the third quarter valued at approximately $200,000. Finally, Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Essex Property Trust during the third quarter valued at approximately $200,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.26% of the company’s stock.

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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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