Shares of Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) have been given an average broker rating score of 3.00 (Hold) from the two analysts that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation. Essendant’s rating score has declined by 50% in the last three months as a result of various analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.
Analysts have set a 12-month consensus price target of $23.50 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.67 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Essendant an industry rank of 109 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.
Separately, Zacks Investment Research raised Essendant from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 21st.
In related news, COO Timothy P. Connolly sold 5,765 shares of Essendant stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.24, for a total transaction of $110,918.60. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 40,773 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $784,472.52. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 1.60% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ESND. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in Essendant by 9.3% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 2,819,324 shares of the company’s stock worth $90,020,000 after buying an additional 240,669 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in Essendant by 189.1% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 134,587 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,297,000 after buying an additional 88,027 shares during the period. Strs Ohio increased its stake in Essendant by 8.2% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 17,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $522,000 after buying an additional 1,300 shares during the period. AXA increased its stake in Essendant by 4,318.2% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 97,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,104,000 after buying an additional 95,000 shares during the period. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in Essendant by 102.4% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 12,912 shares of the company’s stock worth $395,000 after buying an additional 6,534 shares during the period. 96.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) opened at 19.34 on Monday. Essendant has a 12 month low of $18.56 and a 12 month high of $36.96. The firm’s market capitalization is $721.32 million. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $19.57 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.71.
Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.28. The business earned $1.35 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.36 billion. Essendant had a negative net margin of 0.72% and a positive return on equity of 13.75%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.82 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Essendant will post $2.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 15th will be given a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 13th. Essendant’s dividend payout ratio is currently -52.34%.
Essendant Inc (Essendant), formerly United Stationers Inc, is a wholesale distributor of workplace items. The Company stocks an assortment of over 180,000 products in categories, including janitorial and breakroom supplies, technology products, traditional office products, industrial supplies, office furniture, and automotive aftermarket tools and equipment.
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