Trading Report: Today: Pzena Investment Management LLC Raises its position in Essendant Inc. (ESND) as a favorable investment target.

Today: Pzena Investment Management LLC Raises its position in Essendant Inc. (ESND) as a favorable investment target.

Pzena Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) by 2.6% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 1,203,461 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 30,132 shares during the period. Pzena Investment Management LLC owned approximately 3.26% of Essendant worth $24,695,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of ESND. Barclays PLC raised its position in shares of Essendant by 1.5% in the second quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 6,599 shares of the company’s stock worth $201,000 after buying an additional 99 shares in the last quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. raised its position in shares of Essendant by 3.4% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 4,712 shares of the company’s stock worth $144,000 after buying an additional 156 shares in the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System raised its position in shares of Essendant by 1.0% in the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 19,340 shares of the company’s stock worth $591,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. raised its position in shares of Essendant by 1.2% in the second quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 31,413 shares of the company’s stock worth $960,000 after buying an additional 381 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in shares of Essendant by 0.7% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 66,873 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,044,000 after buying an additional 475 shares in the last quarter. 93.53% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) traded down 0.47% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $19.24. The stock had a trading volume of 115,979 shares. Essendant Inc. has a 52 week low of $14.72 and a 52 week high of $36.96. The company’s 50 day moving average is $17.75 and its 200-day moving average is $23.18. The stock’s market capitalization is $711.26 million.

Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.10. The firm earned $1.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.41 billion. Essendant had a negative net margin of 0.55% and a positive return on equity of 11.74%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.00 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Essendant Inc. will post $1.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 13th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 15th will be paid a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 13th. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.94%. Essendant’s payout ratio is presently -68.29%.

A number of research analysts have commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Essendant from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $18.00 price objective (down from $23.50) on shares of Essendant in a report on Friday, October 28th.

In other Essendant news, SVP Carole W. Tomko sold 3,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.41, for a total value of $52,394.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 25,938 shares in the company, valued at $399,704.58. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 1.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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