Essent Group Ltd. (ESNT) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday. They currently have $45.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Essent Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, operates as a private mortgage insurance company. It serves originators of residential mortgage loans, such as regulated depository institutions, mortgage banks, credit unions, and other lenders. Essent Group Ltd. is based in Hamilton, Bermuda. “

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Essent Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, September 16th. BTIG Research upgraded Essent Group from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded Essent Group from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $43.00 to $44.00 in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Barclays PLC restated a buy rating on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price target on Essent Group from $42.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Essent Group currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $44.75.

Shares of Essent Group (ESNT) traded up 0.74% during trading on Monday, reaching $40.57. 77,571 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.44 and a beta of 1.14. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $39.07 and its 200 day moving average is $37.77. Essent Group has a 1-year low of $25.84 and a 1-year high of $41.44.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last posted its earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. Essent Group had a return on equity of 18.77% and a net margin of 50.92%. The company had revenue of $137.61 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $131.99 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.57 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 27.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Essent Group will post $3.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, VP David B. Weinstock sold 2,000 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.95, for a total transaction of $77,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 30,785 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,199,075.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 4,600 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.01, for a total value of $184,046.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 267,502 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,702,755.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 22,918 shares of company stock worth $909,690 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ESNT. US Bancorp DE lifted its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 4.6% during the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 4,946 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $179,000 after purchasing an additional 218 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 14.0% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,924 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $106,000 after purchasing an additional 360 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 2.6% during the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 2,909 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $105,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 24.6% during the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 335,544 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $12,137,000 after purchasing an additional 66,231 shares during the period. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 15.3% during the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 87,226 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,155,000 after purchasing an additional 11,576 shares during the period. 81.40% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Essent Group

Essent Group Ltd. is a private mortgage insurance company. The Company is engaged in offering private mortgage insurance and reinsurance for mortgages secured by residential properties located in the United States. Its products and services include mortgage insurance, contract underwriting, and Bermuda-based insurance and reinsurance.

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