Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) by 9.1% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 3,476,012 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 290,464 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. owned approximately 0.09% of Essendant worth $52,662,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Essendant by 1.5% in the first quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 6,981 shares of the company’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Mason Street Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Essendant by 8.5% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 8,762 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 684 shares during the period. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Essendant by 2.7% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 15,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $232,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. First Quadrant L P CA acquired a new position in shares of Essendant during the first quarter worth $243,000. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Essendant by 2.6% in the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 19,540 shares of the company’s stock worth $296,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the period. 91.91% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Essendant Inc. (ESND) opened at 11.92 on Thursday. Essendant Inc. has a 12 month low of $11.61 and a 12 month high of $22.52. The firm’s market capitalization is $447.35 million. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $13.71 and its 200-day moving average is $16.14.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.64%. Essendant’s payout ratio is -13.73%.

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A number of research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Essendant from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. TheStreet cut shares of Essendant from a “c-” rating to a “d+” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Essendant from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have issued a hold rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $17.33.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND)

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