The Ensign Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “The Ensign Group was formed for the express purpose of meeting the challenges of the long-term care industry in the 21st Century. Led by the country’s finest caregivers, with an aggressive team of industry and business veterans backing them up, Ensign is elevating quality of care to superior levels, and doing it one facility at a time. “

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of The Ensign Group in a research note on Friday, September 9th. SunTrust Banks Inc. cut their price objective on The Ensign Group from $27.00 to $24.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, TheStreet raised The Ensign Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $25.00.

Analyst Recommendations for The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG)

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) traded up 1.83% on Tuesday, reaching $22.22. The company had a trading volume of 189,295 shares. The stock has a market cap of $1.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.81 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a 50-day moving average of $19.96 and a 200 day moving average of $20.18. The Ensign Group has a one year low of $17.60 and a one year high of $24.84.

The Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.32 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $428.07 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $427.01 million. The Ensign Group had a return on equity of 15.43% and a net margin of 2.84%. The business’s revenue was up 21.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.60 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that The Ensign Group will post $1.36 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 31st. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 30th were issued a $0.04 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 28th. This represents a $0.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.72%. The Ensign Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 18.39%.

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A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its position in The Ensign Group by 11.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 49,126 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,113,000 after buying an additional 4,918 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its position in The Ensign Group by 2.4% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,154,848 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,143,000 after buying an additional 27,404 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its position in The Ensign Group by 49.6% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 42,634 shares of the company’s stock valued at $965,000 after buying an additional 14,130 shares during the period. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. boosted its position in The Ensign Group by 268.1% in the first quarter. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. now owns 33,640 shares of the company’s stock valued at $762,000 after buying an additional 24,500 shares during the period. Finally, Origin Asset Management LLP boosted its position in The Ensign Group by 9.0% in the first quarter. Origin Asset Management LLP now owns 287,394 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,507,000 after buying an additional 23,818 shares during the period. 87.07% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About The Ensign Group

The Ensign Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides healthcare services across the post-acute care continuum, as well as urgent care centers and mobile ancillary businesses. Its segments include transitional, skilled and assisted living services (TSA services); home health and hospice services, and all other.

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