Essendant Inc. (ESND) Hits New 1-Year Low on Disappointing Earnings

Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ:ESND) reached a new 52-week low on Thursday following a weaker than expected earnings announcement. The company traded as low as $9.96 and last traded at $9.95, with a volume of 548,865 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $12.55.

The company reported $0.03 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by ($0.30). The firm had revenue of $1.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.31 billion. Essendant had a positive return on equity of 3.02% and a negative net margin of 5.26%. Essendant’s quarterly revenue was down 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.57 earnings per share.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 12th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.68%. Essendant’s payout ratio is -7.67%.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on ESND. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Essendant from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Essendant from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Essendant from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Saturday, August 12th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Essendant from a “c-” rating to a “d+” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the stock. Essendant presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $16.50.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its holdings 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 purchasing an additional 3,204 shares during the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its holdings 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 purchasing an additional 684 shares during the last quarter. Hartford Investment Management Co. acquired a new position in shares of Essendant in the second quarter valued at $163,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Essendant in the second quarter valued at $179,000. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Essendant by 5.7% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 12,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $191,000 after purchasing an additional 700 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.33% of the company’s stock.

The company’s 50-day moving average is $12.77 and its 200-day moving average is $14.06. The company’s market cap is $370.04 million.

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About Essendant

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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