Wasatch Advisors Inc. Reduces Stake in The Ensign Group, Inc. (ENSG)

Wasatch Advisors Inc. lessened its position in The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) by 4.7% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 6,273,450 shares of the company’s stock after selling 312,447 shares during the period. The Ensign Group makes up 1.8% of Wasatch Advisors Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 11th largest position. Wasatch Advisors Inc. owned about 12.26% of The Ensign Group worth $139,271,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,951,320 shares of the company’s stock worth $129,561,000 after buying an additional 19,967 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,475,647 shares of the company’s stock worth $97,435,000 after buying an additional 102,129 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,234,334 shares of the company’s stock worth $50,474,000 after buying an additional 47,217 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,289,881 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,076,000 after buying an additional 67,741 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Copeland Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of The Ensign Group by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC now owns 1,081,279 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,426,000 after buying an additional 15,782 shares in the last quarter. 84.77% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) traded down $0.31 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $23.61. The company had a trading volume of 129,927 shares, compared to its average volume of 254,920. The company has a quick ratio of 1.53, a current ratio of 1.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59. The firm has a market cap of $1,224.00, a PE ratio of 26.23 and a beta of 0.83. The Ensign Group, Inc. has a twelve month low of $16.50 and a twelve month high of $24.78.

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The company reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.35 by ($0.02). The Ensign Group had a return on equity of 13.15% and a net margin of 2.65%. sell-side analysts expect that The Ensign Group, Inc. will post 1.28 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 31st. Investors of record on Sunday, December 31st will be issued a $0.045 dividend. This represents a $0.18 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.76%. This is a boost from The Ensign Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. The Ensign Group’s payout ratio is presently 20.00%.

A number of analysts have recently commented on the company. Cantor Fitzgerald boosted their price objective on The Ensign Group from $23.00 to $27.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. BidaskClub downgraded The Ensign Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. ValuEngine downgraded The Ensign Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 14th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $21.00 price objective on shares of The Ensign Group in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The Ensign Group has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $26.67.

In related news, VP Beverly B. Wittekind sold 5,000 shares of The Ensign Group stock in a transaction on Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.55, for a total value of $112,750.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 46,656 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,052,092.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Beverly B. Wittekind sold 9,664 shares of The Ensign Group stock in a transaction on Monday, January 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.60, for a total value of $228,070.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 51,320 shares in the company, valued at $1,211,152. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 25,193 shares of company stock worth $593,184 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 6.20% of the company’s stock.

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About The Ensign Group

The Ensign Group, Inc, through its operating subsidiaries, provides healthcare services across the post-acute care continuum, as well as other ancillary businesses located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

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

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