Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado purchased a new position in shares of Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund purchased 7,123 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $309,000.
Other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Fortaleza Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Essent Group during the third quarter worth about $112,000. Telemus Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of Essent Group during the fourth quarter worth about $204,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its position in shares of Essent Group by 50.6% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,735 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $206,000 after acquiring an additional 1,590 shares during the last quarter. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Essent Group during the third quarter worth about $219,000. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. grew its position in shares of Essent Group by 5.1% during the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 6,781 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $252,000 after acquiring an additional 330 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.09% of the company’s stock.
In other Essent Group news, CEO Mark Casale sold 370,673 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.50, for a total value of $16,494,948.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,845,356 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $82,118,342. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Andrew Turnbull sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.00, for a total transaction of $230,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 24,596 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,131,416. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 401,686 shares of company stock valued at $17,906,354 in the last quarter. 18.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last announced its earnings results on Friday, February 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $161.77 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $155.22 million. Essent Group had a net margin of 65.87% and a return on equity of 18.84%. Essent Group’s revenue was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.68 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Essent Group Ltd will post 4.34 earnings per share for the current year.
Several equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada assumed coverage on shares of Essent Group in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $54.00 price target for the company. BTIG Research upped their price target on shares of Essent Group from $49.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, December 25th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Essent Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $49.00 to $61.00 in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $52.52.
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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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