ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESSA – Get Free Report) announced a quarterly dividend on Wednesday, November 15th, Zacks reports. Investors of record on Saturday, December 16th will be paid a dividend of 0.15 per share by the financial services provider on Friday, December 29th. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.63%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th.
ESSA Bancorp has increased its dividend by an average of 11.6% annually over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 2 consecutive years. ESSA Bancorp has a dividend payout ratio of 33.9% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities analysts expect ESSA Bancorp to earn $1.97 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $0.60 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 30.5%.
ESSA Bancorp Price Performance
ESSA Bancorp stock opened at $16.51 on Friday. ESSA Bancorp has a 52-week low of $12.79 and a 52-week high of $21.80. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $15.43 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $15.46. The firm has a market capitalization of $171.70 million, a P/E ratio of 8.69 and a beta of 0.29.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
Separately, StockNews.com upgraded ESSA Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th.
Insider Buying and Selling
In related news, COO Peter A. Gray bought 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 25th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $15.90 per share, with a total value of $39,750.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief operating officer now owns 27,713 shares in the company, valued at approximately $440,636.70. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders have purchased a total of 5,500 shares of company stock worth $86,415 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 6.84% of the company’s stock.
Hedge Funds Weigh In On ESSA Bancorp
Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. HRT Financial LP bought a new stake in ESSA Bancorp during the 1st quarter worth about $190,000. Citigroup Inc. raised its stake in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 89.1% during the fourth quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 8,998 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $188,000 after buying an additional 4,240 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new position in ESSA Bancorp in the second quarter valued at approximately $173,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 4,102.2% during the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 9,581 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $150,000 after acquiring an additional 9,353 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lifted its stake in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 19.9% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 8,665 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $130,000 after purchasing an additional 1,439 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 44.24% of the company’s stock.
About ESSA Bancorp
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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