Rating Report: Is Essex Property (NYSE:ESS) a Stock to Sell After BofA Merrill Downgrade?

November 23, 2016 - By Hazel Jackson

Rating Report: Is Essex Property (NYSE:ESS) a Stock to Sell After BofA Merrill Downgrade?

Essex Property (NYSE:ESS) Downgrade

In a a note issued on 23 November, BofA Merrill stated it was downgrading Essex Property (NYSE:ESS) stock rating from a Buy to a Neutral.

Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) Ratings Coverage

Out of 17 analysts covering Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS), 6 rate it a “Buy”, 1 “Sell”, while 10 “Hold”. This means 35% are positive. $270 is the highest target while $210 is the lowest. The $242.29 average target is 15.21% above today’s ($210.3) stock price. Essex Property Trust has been the topic of 32 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. The rating was initiated by BB&T Capital with “Buy” on Tuesday, November 10. Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) on Friday, September 18 to “Buy” rating. The stock of Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) has “Buy” rating given on Tuesday, September 8 by Evercore. The stock of Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) has “Sell” rating given on Wednesday, January 27 by Zelman. As per Thursday, August 25, the company rating was initiated by BTIG Research. Evercore downgraded the stock to “Hold” rating in Friday, July 15 report. RBC Capital Markets maintained the shares of ESS in a report on Tuesday, August 4 with “Outperform” rating. SunTrust initiated it with “Neutral” rating and $244 target price in Tuesday, July 21 report. DA Davidson initiated the shares of ESS in a report on Friday, September 18 with “Neutral” rating. Jefferies maintained Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) rating on Wednesday, August 10. Jefferies has “Hold” rating and $210 price target.

About 72,800 shares traded hands. Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) has declined 3.61% since April 21, 2016 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 8.94% the S&P500.

Insitutional Activity: The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.82 in 2016 Q2. Its down 0.22, from 1.04 in 2016Q1. The ratio dived, as 32 funds sold all Essex Property Trust Inc shares owned while 142 reduced positions. 41 funds bought stakes while 140 increased positions. They now own 63.70 million shares or 5.28% less from 67.25 million shares in 2016Q1.

Iowa Commercial Bank has 1,587 shares for 0.16% of their US portfolio. Oregon Employees Retirement Fund accumulated 0.04% or 7,052 shares. Golub Gru Llc, a California-based fund reported 1,599 shares. Moreover, Citadel Advisors Llc has 0% invested in Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) for 1,187 shares. Deere Com has 0.04% invested in the company for 2,944 shares. Janus Capital Mgmt accumulated 0.11% or 587,548 shares. Cetera Advsr Ltd Liability Corp has 0.09% invested in the company for 4,908 shares. Ubs Asset Americas owns 231,404 shares or 0.06% of their US portfolio. Savings Bank Of Nova Scotia accumulated 1,310 shares or 0% of the stock. Lazard Asset Management holds 26,307 shares or 0.01% of its portfolio. D E Shaw &, a New York-based fund reported 16,714 shares. Brown Advisory Incorporated last reported 0% of its portfolio in the stock. Parkwood Ltd Liability Corporation holds 0.13% or 3,312 shares in its portfolio. Gemmer Asset Management Limited Liability Co has invested 0.51% of its portfolio in Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS). Architects Inc has 0% invested in the company for 72 shares.

Insider Transactions: Since July 5, 2016, the stock had 0 buys, and 3 insider sales for $3.96 million net activity. The insider SCHALL MICHAEL J sold 10,000 shares worth $2.22 million. GUERICKE KEITH R sold $1.17 million worth of stock or 5,000 shares. On Thursday, September 1 EUDY JOHN D sold $566,025 worth of the stock or 2,500 shares.

Essex Property Trust, Inc. is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust . The company has a market cap of $14.04 billion. The Firm owns all of its interest in its real estate and other investments directly or indirectly through Essex Portfolio, L.P. (the Operating Partnership). It has a 46.72 P/E ratio. The Firm is engaged in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of apartment communities.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST, INC. is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust, engaged in the acquisition, refurbishing, marketing, leasing, management, development and construction of multifamily residential and retail properties.”

ESS Company Profile

Essex Property Trust, Inc. (Essex), incorporated on March 11, 1994, is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Firm owns all of its interest in its real estate and other investments directly or indirectly through Essex Portfolio, L.P. (the Operating Partnership). The Firm is engaged primarily in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of apartment communities. The Company’s divisions are Southern California, Northern California and Seattle Metro. The Firm owns or holds an interest in over 250 communities, aggregating approximately 59,160 apartment homes, located along the West Coast, as well as over four commercial buildings (totaling approximately 319,080 square feet), and over eight active development projects with approximately 2,450 apartment homes in various stages of development. The Firm invests primarily in apartment communities located in predominantly coastal markets within Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Seattle metropolitan area.

Another recent and important Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) news was published by Forbes.com which published an article titled: “Ex-Dividend Reminder: Annaly Capital , Corporate Office Properties Trust and …” on September 26, 2016.

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