Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its position in Essendant Inc (NASDAQ:ESND) by 2.7% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 289,011 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 7,560 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.77% of Essendant worth $2,254,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Investors Research Corp raised its holdings in shares of Essendant by 13.0% in the first quarter. Investors Research Corp now owns 78,950 shares of the company’s stock valued at $616,000 after purchasing an additional 9,075 shares during the last quarter. Lapides Asset Management LLC grew its position in Essendant by 33.3% during the first quarter. Lapides Asset Management LLC now owns 46,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $359,000 after buying an additional 11,500 shares during the period. Alambic Investment Management L.P. bought a new position in Essendant during the first quarter valued at about $118,000. Stevens Capital Management LP bought a new position in Essendant during the first quarter valued at about $131,000. Finally, Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Essendant during the first quarter valued at about $140,000. Institutional investors own 88.21% of the company’s stock.

ESND opened at $15.09 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $572.44 million, a P/E ratio of 84.33 and a beta of 1.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a current ratio of 2.03 and a quick ratio of 1.01. Essendant Inc has a fifty-two week low of $7.20 and a fifty-two week high of $17.08.

Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.04) by $0.20. The firm had revenue of $1.25 billion during the quarter. Essendant had a negative net margin of 2.70% and a positive return on equity of 1.51%.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 14th will be given a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 13th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.71%.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on ESND shares. Sidoti upgraded shares of Essendant from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $10.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 2nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Essendant from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Monday, May 14th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Essendant from a “d+” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, Essendant has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $10.00.

Essendant Profile

Essendant Inc operates as a distributor of workplace items in the United States and internationally. It offers janitorial and sanitation supplies, breakroom items, foodservice consumables, safety and security items, and paper and packaging supplies. The company also provides technology products, such as computer accessories, imaging supplies, and data storage products; and computer hardware, including printers and other peripherals.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND)

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