Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, June 27th.

According to Zacks, “Essendant Inc. is a leading supplier of workplace essentials, with 2015 net sales of $5.4 billion. The company stocks a broad assortment of over 180,000 items, including technology products, traditional office products, janitorial and breakroom supplies, office furniture, industrial supplies, and automotive aftermarket tools. “

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on ESND. Sidoti lowered shares of Essendant from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $18.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, February 28th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $15.00 target price (down previously from $18.00) on shares of Essendant in a research report on Wednesday, March 1st.

Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) traded down 9.90% on Tuesday, reaching $11.83. 642,510 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $14.72 and a 200-day moving average of $16.66. The company’s market cap is $443.61 million. Essendant has a 12-month low of $11.61 and a 12-month high of $22.52.

Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.09. Essendant had a negative net margin of 2.67% and a positive return on equity of 6.81%. The business had revenue of $1.26 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.31 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.55 earnings per share. Essendant’s revenue was down 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Essendant will post $1.20 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Harry Dochelli sold 4,755 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.94, for a total transaction of $80,549.70. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 21,116 shares in the company, valued at approximately $357,705.04. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 1.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Essendant by 1.5% in the first quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 6,981 shares of the company’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its position in shares of Essendant by 77.4% in the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 7,344 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 3,204 shares during the period. Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Essendant by 8.5% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 8,762 shares of the company’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 684 shares during the period. Hartford Investment Management Co. acquired a new position in Essendant during the second quarter worth about $163,000. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in Essendant by 5.7% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 12,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $191,000 after buying an additional 700 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.05% of the company’s stock.

Essendant Company Profile

Essendant Inc (Essendant) is a wholesale distributor of workplace items. The Company’s product portfolio includes Janitorial, Foodservice and Breakroom Supplies (JanSan), Technology Products, Traditional Office Products, Industrial Supplies, Cut Sheet Paper Products, Automotive Products and Office Furniture.

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