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Essex Property Trust Stock Downgraded (ESS)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Essex Property (NYSE:ESS) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • ESS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 16.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 94.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $9.06 million to $17.59 million.
  • ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past two years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $1.00 versus $1.14 in the prior year.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 34.20%. Regardless of ESS's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 12.20% trails the industry average.
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Essex Property Trust, Inc. operates as a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust in the United States. It engages in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development, and redevelopment of apartment communities, as well as commercial properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 72.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Essex Property has a market cap of $5.46 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 6.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Essex Property Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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