Short Interest in ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESSA) Declines By 22.6%

ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESSAGet Rating) was the target of a large drop in short interest in March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 6,500 shares, a drop of 22.6% from the March 15th total of 8,400 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 0 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently ∞ days.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of ESSA Bancorp by 1.2% during the 3rd quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 63,252 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,049,000 after buying an additional 763 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its holdings in 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 purchasing an additional 2,711 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its holdings in ESSA Bancorp by 105.0% in the 3rd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 217,962 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,594,000 after purchasing an additional 111,655 shares during the last quarter. BHZ Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in ESSA Bancorp in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $224,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its holdings in ESSA Bancorp by 29.0% in the 4th quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 281,212 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,873,000 after purchasing an additional 63,250 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 50.31% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NASDAQ ESSA traded down $0.02 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $17.00. 36 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 7,134. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $17.87. The stock has a market cap of $178.31 million, a PE ratio of 9.95 and a beta of 0.39. ESSA Bancorp has a twelve month low of $14.79 and a twelve month high of $18.75.

ESSA Bancorp (NASDAQ:ESSAGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $15.89 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $16.19 million. ESSA Bancorp had a net margin of 24.54% and a return on equity of 8.37%. As a group, analysts expect that ESSA Bancorp will post 1.74 EPS for the current year.

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

A number of research firms have weighed in on ESSA. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of ESSA Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 12th. StockNews.com began coverage on shares of ESSA Bancorp in a research note on Tuesday. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock.

ESSA Bancorp Company Profile (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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