BidaskClub Downgrades The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) to Hold

BidaskClub lowered shares of The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday, BidAskClub reports.

Several other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. ValuEngine cut The Ensign Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price target on The Ensign Group from $52.00 to $56.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut The Ensign Group from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 9th. Finally, Oppenheimer increased their price target on The Ensign Group from $52.00 to $58.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 8th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The Ensign Group presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $51.25.

ENSG stock opened at $50.77 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.87 billion, a PE ratio of 28.36, a P/E/G ratio of 1.71 and a beta of 0.85. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $57.30. The Ensign Group has a fifty-two week low of $35.14 and a fifty-two week high of $63.00.

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 1st. The company reported $0.54 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $575.65 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $574.24 million. The Ensign Group had a return on equity of 17.32% and a net margin of 4.74%. The Ensign Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.44 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that The Ensign Group will post 2.11 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 31st. Investors of record on Sunday, June 30th were given a dividend of $0.0475 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 27th. This represents a $0.19 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.37%. The Ensign Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 10.61%.

In related news, CFO Suzanne D. Snapper sold 2,982 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.17, for a total transaction of $158,552.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 223,216 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,868,394.72. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Beverly B. Wittekind sold 868 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.17, for a total value of $46,151.56. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 54,462 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,895,744.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 6,479 shares of company stock valued at $358,200 over the last three months. Insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Huntington National Bank bought a new stake in The Ensign Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its stake in The Ensign Group by 86.4% in the fourth quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 727 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,000 after buying an additional 337 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its stake in The Ensign Group by 65.5% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 768 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 304 shares during the period. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. bought a new stake in The Ensign Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $53,000. Finally, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale bought a new stake in The Ensign Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $64,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.88% of the company’s stock.

About The Ensign Group

The Ensign Group, Inc provides health care services in the post-acute care continuum and other ancillary businesses. The company operates in three segments: Transitional and Skilled Services; Assisted and Independent Living Services; and Home Health and Hospice Services. The Transitional and Skilled Services segment offers a range of medical, nursing, rehabilitative, and pharmacy services, as well as routine services, such as daily dietary, social, and recreational services to Medicaid, private pay, managed care, and Medicare payors.

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