Short Interest in ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESSA) Grows By 24.2%


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ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESSA) saw a large increase in short interest during the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 124,600 shares, an increase of 24.2% from the March 31st total of 100,300 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 27,200 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.6 days. Currently, 1.4% of the shares of the company are sold short.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Citigroup Inc. lifted its position in ESSA Bancorp by 312.6% in the 4th quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 1,803 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $27,000 after purchasing an additional 1,366 shares during the last quarter. Barclays PLC lifted its position in ESSA Bancorp by 51.2% in the 4th quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 6,347 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $95,000 after purchasing an additional 2,148 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers lifted its position in ESSA Bancorp by 13.2% in the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 16,230 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $243,000 after purchasing an additional 1,898 shares during the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management LLC lifted its position in ESSA Bancorp by 5.5% in the 4th quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management LLC now owns 18,085 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $271,000 after purchasing an additional 939 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in ESSA Bancorp by 4.5% during the 4th quarter. Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc. now owns 18,397 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $276,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.51% of the company’s stock.

Shares of ESSA Bancorp stock traded down $0.25 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $15.44. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 23,720 shares, compared to its average volume of 25,360. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $16.03 and its 200 day simple moving average is $15.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 0.95. ESSA Bancorp has a one year low of $11.05 and a one year high of $18.23. The stock has a market cap of $167.08 million, a P/E ratio of 11.37 and a beta of 0.49.

ESSA Bancorp (NASDAQ:ESSA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 30th. The financial services provider reported $0.43 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.05. ESSA Bancorp had a net margin of 18.64% and a return on equity of 7.51%. On average, sell-side analysts predict that ESSA Bancorp will post 1.55 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 31st. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 16th were given a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, March 15th. This is an increase from ESSA Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.11%. ESSA Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 34.53%.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on ESSA. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of ESSA Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 5th. TheStreet upgraded shares of ESSA Bancorp from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 4th.

About ESSA Bancorp

ESSA Bancorp, Inc operates as a bank holding company for ESSA Bank & Trust that provides a range of financial products and 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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