ESSA Bancorp (NASDAQ:ESSA) Earns Buy Rating from Analysts at StockNews.com

StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of ESSA Bancorp (NASDAQ:ESSAGet Rating) in a report published on Monday. The firm issued a buy rating on the financial services provider’s stock.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research lowered ESSA Bancorp from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 29th.

ESSA stock opened at $17.04 on Monday. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $17.90 and a 200-day moving average price of $17.33. ESSA Bancorp has a 1-year low of $14.79 and a 1-year high of $18.75. The firm has a market cap of $178.73 million, a PE ratio of 9.96 and a beta of 0.39.

ESSA Bancorp (NASDAQ:ESSAGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.02. ESSA Bancorp had a return on equity of 8.37% and a net margin of 24.54%. The firm had revenue of $15.89 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $16.19 million. On average, equities analysts forecast that ESSA Bancorp will post 1.74 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 31st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 16th were paid a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 15th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.82%. ESSA Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 28.07%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Royal Bank of Canada grew its stake in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 18.2% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 9,600 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 1,479 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its stake in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 26.1% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 13,083 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $214,000 after buying an additional 2,711 shares during the period. BHZ Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of ESSA Bancorp in the 3rd quarter valued at about $224,000. Susquehanna International Group LLP grew its stake in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 75.6% in the 4th quarter. Susquehanna International Group LLP now owns 17,906 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $310,000 after buying an additional 7,708 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley grew its stake in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 10.1% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 24,683 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $405,000 after buying an additional 2,266 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 50.31% of the company’s stock.

About ESSA Bancorp (Get Rating)

ESSA Bancorp, Inc operates as a bank holding company for ESSA Bank & Trust that provides a range of financial services to individuals, families, and businesses in Pennsylvania. The company accepts savings accounts, interest bearing demand accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, club accounts, certificates of deposit and IRAs, and other qualified plan accounts, as well as commercial checking accounts.

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