First Trust Advisors LP Cuts Stake in The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG)

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First Trust Advisors LP reduced its holdings in The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) by 67.4% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 21,227 shares of the company’s stock after selling 43,944 shares during the quarter. First Trust Advisors LP’s holdings in The Ensign Group were worth $760,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in The Ensign Group by 2.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,297,816 shares of the company’s stock valued at $165,632,000 after acquiring an additional 141,214 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of The Ensign Group by 1.1% during the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,286,451 shares of the company’s stock valued at $60,134,000 after buying an additional 23,814 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in shares of The Ensign Group by 3.0% during the first quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 778,970 shares of the company’s stock valued at $20,487,000 after buying an additional 22,832 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its position in shares of The Ensign Group by 4.2% during the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 531,351 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,975,000 after buying an additional 21,475 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of The Ensign Group by 5.9% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 391,152 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,288,000 after buying an additional 21,783 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.59% of the company’s stock.

Shares of ENSG traded up $0.10 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $38.45. The stock had a trading volume of 374,491 shares, compared to its average volume of 247,549. The firm has a market cap of $1.98 billion, a PE ratio of 32.04, a PEG ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 0.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49, a current ratio of 1.42 and a quick ratio of 1.42. The Ensign Group, Inc. has a 52 week low of $20.81 and a 52 week high of $40.64.

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $496.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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 revenue was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.23 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that The Ensign Group, Inc. will post 1.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 31st. Shareholders of record on Sunday, September 30th will be paid a $0.045 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 27th. This represents a $0.18 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.47%. The Ensign Group’s payout ratio is presently 15.00%.

In related news, CEO Christopher R. Christensen sold 21,241 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.42, for a total transaction of $794,838.22. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Christopher R. Christensen sold 84,472 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.65, for a total value of $3,180,370.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 159,149 shares of company stock worth $6,020,000. Corporate insiders own 6.00% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on ENSG shares. Zacks Investment Research cut The Ensign Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 3rd. BidaskClub raised The Ensign Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Cantor Fitzgerald boosted their price objective on The Ensign Group to $42.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. Stephens reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $41.00 price objective on shares of The Ensign Group in a research report on Sunday, August 5th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $41.00 price objective on shares of The Ensign Group in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $38.00.

About The Ensign Group

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.

Further Reading: Fundamental Analysis – How It Helps Investors

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG)

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