Will This Downgrade Hurt Essex Property Trust (ESS) Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Essex Property Trust Inc.  (ESS) shares were downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" by Goldman Sachs  (GS) in a report published Wednesday.

The firm increased the price target for the company to $177 from $156.

Essex Property shares opened trading down 0.68% at $172.82 Wednesday.

The downgrade comes following yesterday's announcement of the real estate investment trust's merger with BRE Properties (BRE).

"We downgrade shares of Essex Property Trust to neutral from buy on valuation following the completion of the BRE merger on April 1, 2014. Although our 2015-16 estimates are above consensus, current valuation appears to price in higher estimates" Goldman Sachs said.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST (ESS) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

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