Essent Group Ltd. (ESNT) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday.

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. “

ESNT has been the subject of a number of other reports. BidaskClub lowered Essent Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $43.00 price objective on Essent Group and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on Essent Group from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price objective on Essent Group from $42.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, BTIG Research upgraded Essent Group from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $44.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $44.75.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) opened at 41.60 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $3.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.80 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a 50-day moving average of $39.16 and a 200-day moving average of $37.83. Essent Group has a 12 month low of $25.84 and a 12 month high of $41.72.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 business had revenue of $137.61 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $131.99 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.57 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 27.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Essent Group will post $3.05 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, VP David B. Weinstock sold 2,000 shares of the business’s 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 transaction, the vice president now directly owns 30,785 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,199,075.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 4,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.04, for a total value of $188,784.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 262,902 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,789,498.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 20,918 shares of company stock valued at $832,670. Corporate insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Essent Group by 9.1% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,826,998 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $290,695,000 after buying an additional 655,163 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Essent Group by 6,828.8% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,844,752 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $211,403,000 after buying an additional 5,760,398 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its position in shares of Essent Group by 18.7% during the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,755,887 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $139,494,000 after buying an additional 592,824 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of Essent Group by 16.6% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,493,815 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $90,204,000 after buying an additional 355,289 shares during the period. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. grew its position in shares of Essent Group by 3.8% during the 2nd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 1,595,288 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $59,249,000 after buying an additional 58,836 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 81.40% of the company’s stock.

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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