Wasatch Advisors Inc. boosted its position in The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) by 2.6% in the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 6,589,769 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 170,072 shares during the quarter. The Ensign Group makes up about 2.0% of Wasatch Advisors Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 7th largest position. Wasatch Advisors Inc. owned about 12.95% of The Ensign Group worth $143,459,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its position in The Ensign Group by 4.2% in the second quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 69,276 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,508,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares during the last quarter. Kestrel Investment Management Corp increased its position in The Ensign Group by 89.2% in the second quarter. Kestrel Investment Management Corp now owns 352,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,678,000 after buying an additional 166,316 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in The Ensign Group by 5.5% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 87,592 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,647,000 after buying an additional 4,600 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in The Ensign Group by 7.6% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,105,058 shares of the company’s stock worth $39,575,000 after buying an additional 148,627 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Paradigm Capital Management Inc. NY increased its position in The Ensign Group by 157.8% in the second quarter. Paradigm Capital Management Inc. NY now owns 58,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,262,000 after buying an additional 35,500 shares during the last quarter. 84.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The Ensign Group, Inc. (ENSG) traded down 0.19% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $21.50. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 260,273 shares. The Ensign Group, Inc. has a 12-month low of $16.51 and a 12-month high of $23.69. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $21.26 and a 200-day moving average price of $20.33. The firm has a market cap of $1.09 billion, a PE ratio of 25.03 and a beta of 0.87.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 31st. Stockholders of record on Saturday, September 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.043 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 28th. This represents a $0.17 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.80%. The Ensign Group’s payout ratio is 20.24%.

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In other news, Director Antoinette T. Hubenette sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.95, for a total transaction of $52,375.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 24,626 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $515,914.70. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Barry Port sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.00, for a total value of $230,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 135,642 shares in the company, valued at $3,119,766. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 14,576 shares of company stock worth $327,373 over the last three months. Insiders own 6.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded The Ensign Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub raised The Ensign Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Finally, TheStreet raised The Ensign Group from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $22.00.

The Ensign Group Profile

The Ensign Group, Inc, through its operating subsidiaries, provides healthcare services across the post-acute care continuum, as well as other ancillary businesses located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG)

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