The Ensign Group (ENSG) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ensign Group’s shares have outperformed its industry in a year's time. Moreover, it has witnessed its 2019 earnings estimates to move upward over the past 60 days. The company's inorganic strategies have consistently given a boost to the revenue base and solid financial health enables it to enhance shareholder value. Its solid strategies have facilitated the company to grow and add to its facilities. Its guidance for 2018 should also instill investors’ confidence in the stock. However, it suffers from rising expenses that keep draining the bottom line. Moreover, extensive use of debt continuously raises the company’s interest expenses, which in turn, hurt its profitability.”

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Stephens restated a buy rating and issued a $41.00 price target on shares of The Ensign Group in a research report on Sunday, August 5th. SunTrust Banks restated a buy rating and issued a $41.00 price target on shares of The Ensign Group in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. ValuEngine cut The Ensign Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. BidaskClub cut The Ensign Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald restated a buy rating and issued a $42.00 price target on shares of The Ensign Group in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $38.00.

ENSG traded down $0.56 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $37.75. The company had a trading volume of 443,595 shares, compared to its average volume of 269,330. The company has a quick ratio of 1.42, a current ratio of 1.42 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49. The stock has a market cap of $2.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.46, a PEG ratio of 1.49 and a beta of 0.65. The Ensign Group has a 1 year low of $21.67 and a 1 year high of $40.64.

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $496.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $496.61 million. The Ensign Group had a return on equity of 15.61% and a net margin of 3.61%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.23 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that The Ensign Group will post 1.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 31st. Investors of record on Sunday, September 30th will be given a dividend of $0.045 per share. This represents a $0.18 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 27th. The Ensign Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.00%.

In related news, Director John G. Nackel sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.00, for a total transaction of $156,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 78,232 shares in the company, valued at $3,051,048. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Beverly B. Wittekind sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.61, for a total value of $193,050.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 55,984 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,161,542.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 58,436 shares of company stock valued at $2,237,841 in the last quarter. 6.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its position in shares of The Ensign Group by 15.9% during the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 11,680 shares of the company’s stock worth $418,000 after purchasing an additional 1,603 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of The Ensign Group by 16.0% during the second quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 13,352 shares of the company’s stock worth $478,000 after purchasing an additional 1,840 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in The Ensign Group by 2.4% during the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 102,009 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,697,000 after buying an additional 2,354 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its stake in The Ensign Group by 5.3% during the second quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 53,733 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,033,000 after buying an additional 2,720 shares during the last quarter. Finally, HGK Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in The Ensign Group by 19.4% during the second quarter. HGK Asset Management Inc. now owns 21,404 shares of the company’s stock valued at $767,000 after buying an additional 3,477 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.59% of the company’s stock.

The Ensign Group Company Profile

The Ensign Group, Inc provides health care services in the post-acute care continuum and other ancillary businesses in the United States. It operates through 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, including daily dietary, social, and recreational services to Medicaid, private pay, managed care, and Medicare payors.

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