FJ Capital Management Increases Position in ESSA Bancorp (ESSA)

Fintel reports that FJ Capital Management has filed a 13G/A form with the SEC disclosing ownership of 1.03MM shares of ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (ESSA). This represents 9.95% of the company.

In their previous filing dated February 10, 2022 they reported 1.00MM shares and 9.55% of the company, an increase in shares of 3.08% and an increase in total ownership of 0.40% (calculated as current - previous percent ownership).

Analyst Price Forecast Suggests 9.36% Upside

As of February 6, 2023, the average one-year price target for ESSA Bancorp is $22.44. The forecasts range from a low of $22.22 to a high of $23.10. The average price target represents an increase of 9.36% from its latest reported closing price of $20.52.

The projected annual revenue for ESSA Bancorp is $77MM, an increase of 10.44%. The projected annual EPS is $2.24, an increase of 7.61%.

Fund Sentiment

There are 92 funds or institutions reporting positions in ESSA Bancorp. This is a decrease of 0 owner(s) or 0.00%.

Average portfolio weight of all funds dedicated to US:ESSA is 0.0956%, an increase of 1.2062%. Total shares owned by institutions decreased in the last three months by 2.06% to 4,426K shares.

What are large shareholders doing?

ESSA / ESSA Bancorp, Inc. Ownership

Maltese Capital Management holds 425,000 shares representing 4.38% ownership of the company. In it's prior filing, the firm reported owning 481,900 shares, representing a decrease of 13.39%. The firm decreased its portfolio allocation in ESSA by 56.05% over the last quarter.

Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, The holds 370,584 shares representing 3.82% ownership of the company. In it's prior filing, the firm reported owning 323,738 shares, representing an increase of 12.64%. The firm increased its portfolio allocation in ESSA by 32.57% over the last quarter.

Renaissance Technologies holds 362,518 shares representing 3.73% ownership of the company. In it's prior filing, the firm reported owning 395,179 shares, representing a decrease of 9.01%. The firm increased its portfolio allocation in ESSA by 26.52% over the last quarter.

VTSMX - Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares holds 253,876 shares representing 2.61% ownership of the company. No change in the last quarter.

DFSVX - U.s. Small Cap Value Portfolio - Institutional Class holds 182,988 shares representing 1.88% ownership of the company. No change in the last quarter.

ESSA Bancorp Declares $0.15 Dividend

ESSA Bancorp said on November 17, 2022 that its board of directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share ($0.60 annualized). Shareholders of record as of December 15, 2022 received the payment on December 30, 2022. Previously, the company paid $0.15 per share.

At the current share price of $20.52 / share, the stock's dividend yield is 2.92%. Looking back five years and taking a sample every week, the average dividend yield has been 2.79%, the lowest has been 2.21%, and the highest has been 4.17%. The standard deviation of yields is 0.36 (n=237).

The current dividend yield is 0.37 standard deviations above the historical average.

Additionally, the company's dividend payout ratio is 0.29. The payout ratio tells us how much of a company's income is paid out in dividends. A payout ratio of one (1.0) means 100% of the company's income is paid in a dividend. A payout ratio greater than one means the company is dipping into savings in order to maintain its dividend - not a healthy situation. Companies with few growth prospects are expected to pay out most of their income in dividends, which typically means a payout ratio between 0.5 and 1.0. Companies with good growth prospects are expected to retain some earnings in order to invest in those growth prospects, which translates to a payout ratio of zero to 0.5.

The company's 3-Year dividend growth rate is 0.36%, demonstrating that it has increased its dividend over time.

ESSA Bancorp Background Information
(This description is provided by the company.)

ESSA Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for its wholly owned subsidiary, ESSA Bank & Trust, which was formed in 1916. The Company has total assets of $1.8 billion. Headquartered in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, the Company has two regional offices in Bethlehem and Plymouth Meeting, and operates 22 community offices throughout the Lehigh Valley, suburban Philadelphia and northeastern Pennsylvania regions. ESSA Bank & Trust offers a full range of commercial and retail banking services, employee benefits, investment services and asset management and trust capabilities.

This story originally appeared on Fintel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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