The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) Sees Significant Drop in Short Interest

The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSGGet Free Report) was the target of a large decrease in short interest during the month of March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 3,300,000 shares, a decrease of 8.1% from the February 29th total of 3,590,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 253,400 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 13.0 days. Approximately 6.0% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Analyst Ratings Changes

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price objective on shares of The Ensign Group from $112.00 to $133.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Oppenheimer increased their price objective on shares of The Ensign Group from $127.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, The Ensign Group has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $119.20.

Get Our Latest Analysis on The Ensign Group

The Ensign Group Trading Down 2.4 %

The Ensign Group stock traded down $2.93 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $120.94. 308,081 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 263,262. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10, a quick ratio of 1.42 and a current ratio of 1.42. The Ensign Group has a fifty-two week low of $87.14 and a fifty-two week high of $127.57. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.88 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.04, a PEG ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 0.94. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $121.50 and its 200-day moving average is $110.56.

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSGGet Free Report) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17. The Ensign Group had a net margin of 5.61% and a return on equity of 17.84%. The company had revenue of $980.38 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $975.13 million. On average, analysts predict that The Ensign Group will post 4.96 earnings per share for the current year.

The Ensign Group Cuts Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 30th. Stockholders of record on Sunday, March 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.06 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 27th. This represents a $0.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.20%. The Ensign Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 6.56%.

Insider Transactions at The Ensign Group

In other news, VP Beverly B. Wittekind sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.65, for a total value of $1,216,500.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 37,912 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,611,994.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In other The Ensign Group news, Director Daren Shaw sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.67, for a total transaction of $718,020.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 31,375 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,754,646.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Beverly B. Wittekind sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.65, for a total transaction of $1,216,500.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 37,912 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,611,994.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 84,782 shares of company stock valued at $10,048,943. 4.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On The Ensign Group

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Baron Wealth Management LLC grew its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. Baron Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,314 shares of the company’s stock valued at $260,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC now owns 5,838 shares of the company’s stock valued at $655,000 after buying an additional 102 shares in the last quarter. Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 8.5% in the fourth quarter. Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC now owns 1,353 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 106 shares in the last quarter. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV grew its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV now owns 4,761 shares of the company’s stock valued at $534,000 after buying an additional 107 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC grew its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 10,945 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,228,000 after buying an additional 110 shares in the last quarter. 96.12% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About The Ensign Group

(Get Free Report)

The Ensign Group, Inc provides skilled nursing, senior living, and rehabilitative services. It operates through two segments: Skilled Services and Standard Bearer. The company's Skilled Services segment engages in the operation of skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation therapy services for patients with chronic conditions, prolonged illness, and the elderly; and offers nursing facilities including specialty care, such as on-site dialysis, ventilator care, cardiac, and pulmonary management, as well as standard services comprising room and board, special nutritional programs, social services, recreational activities, entertainment, and other services.

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