Swiss National Bank increased its holdings in Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) by 1.7% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 351,152 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock after purchasing an additional 5,900 shares during the quarter. Swiss National Bank’s holdings in Essex Property Trust were worth $84,758,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Essex Property Trust by 3.6% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,328,165 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $591,424,000 after buying an additional 80,573 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can grew its holdings in Essex Property Trust by 5.4% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 1,034,873 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $249,787,000 after purchasing an additional 53,102 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in Essex Property Trust by 2.0% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 940,078 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $238,806,000 after purchasing an additional 18,322 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in Essex Property Trust by 5.1% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 623,547 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $150,506,000 after purchasing an additional 30,072 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in Essex Property Trust by 5.0% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 537,722 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $136,580,000 after purchasing an additional 25,779 shares during the last quarter. 96.31% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on ESS shares. Raymond James Financial reaffirmed an “underperform” rating on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Monday, January 8th. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Sandler O’Neill set a $250.00 price target on shares of Essex Property Trust and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. Evercore ISI raised shares of Essex Property Trust from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $274.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, December 11th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $276.00 price target on shares of Essex Property Trust in a report on Friday, October 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Essex Property Trust presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $264.94.

In related news, CEO Michael J. Schall sold 4,801 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $247.37, for a total transaction of $1,187,623.37. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 49,564 shares in the company, valued at $12,260,646.68. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Gary P. Martin sold 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $223.43, for a total transaction of $111,715.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 5,736 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,281,594.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 8,602 shares of company stock worth $2,115,430 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 3.30% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE ESS) opened at $228.28 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $15,070.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.75, a PEG ratio of 2.93 and a beta of 0.42. The company has a current ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. Essex Property Trust Inc has a 1-year low of $214.03 and a 1-year high of $270.04.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 7th. The real estate investment trust reported $3.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.00 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $345.06 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $346.50 million. Essex Property Trust had a net margin of 31.75% and a return on equity of 6.76%. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $2.85 earnings per share. analysts predict that Essex Property Trust Inc will post 12.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 29th were issued a dividend of $1.75 per share. This represents a $7.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.07%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 28th. Essex Property Trust’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 106.54%.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS)

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