The Ensign Group, Inc. (ENSG) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “The Ensign Group operates in the booming post-acute care industry that holds untapped opportunities. In addition, the company’s consistently rising revenues on the back of robust inorganic growth is impressive. Its strong underwriting results have been mainly backed by its solid fundamentals. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the to-be-reported quarter is pegged at $0.32 reflecting 6.7% year over year growth. However, the company is exposed to headwinds like rising expenses, heavy debt burden and regulatory uncertainty. Stringent regulations faced by the non-U.S operations of the company also raise concerns. Well reflective of these headwinds, the shares of Ensign Group has lost 6.1% year to date, compared to the 13.5% gain witnessed by the Zacks categorized Nursing Homes industry.”

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. BidaskClub raised The Ensign Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Saturday. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded The Ensign Group from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Friday, April 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $22.60.

Analyst Recommendations for The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG)

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) traded up 0.57% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $21.01. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 60,796 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $19.39 and a 200-day moving average price of $19.66. The stock has a market cap of $1.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.34 and a beta of 0.91. The Ensign Group has a 52-week low of $16.50 and a 52-week high of $23.18.

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) last announced its earnings results on Monday, May 1st. The company reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $441.74 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $435.72 million. The Ensign Group had a return on equity of 13.51% and a net margin of 2.55%. On average, analysts expect that The Ensign Group will post $1.49 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 31st. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 30th will be paid a $0.0425 dividend. This represents a $0.17 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.81%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 28th. The Ensign Group’s dividend payout ratio is 20.48%.

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In other The Ensign Group news, Director John G. Nackel acquired 3,462 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 28th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $17.55 per share, with a total value of $60,758.10. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 96,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,697,646.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 6.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ENSG. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of The Ensign Group by 36.8% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 6,084 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 1,638 shares in the last quarter. UBS Group AG increased its position in shares of The Ensign Group by 93.9% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 6,986 shares of the company’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 3,383 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of The Ensign Group during the first quarter worth about $131,000. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of The Ensign Group by 52.2% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 2,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of The Ensign Group by 7.6% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 11,188 shares of the company’s stock worth $210,000 after buying an additional 786 shares in the last quarter. 84.53% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About The Ensign Group

The Ensign Group, Inc, through its operating subsidiaries, provides healthcare services across the post-acute care continuum, as well as other ancillary businesses located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

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