Essent Group Ltd. (ESNT) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning. The firm currently has $41.00 target price 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. “

ESNT has been the topic of several other research reports. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Essent Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Barclays PLC upped their target price on shares of Essent Group from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Monday, May 15th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Essent Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $43.00 target price on shares of Essent Group and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG upped their target price on shares of Essent Group from $42.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Essent Group presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $43.33.

Essent Group (NYSE ESNT) opened at 37.49 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $3.50 billion, a PE ratio of 13.34 and a beta of 1.14. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $38.37 and its 200-day moving average price is $37.07. Essent Group has a 12-month low of $25.72 and a 12-month high of $41.44.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. Essent Group had a net margin of 50.92% and a return on equity of 18.77%. The firm had revenue of $137.61 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $131.99 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.57 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 27.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Essent Group will post $3.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.99, for a total value of $258,930.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 279,285 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,330,752.15. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP David B. Weinstock sold 2,000 shares of the company’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 sale, the vice president now owns 30,785 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,199,075.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 31,918 shares of company stock worth $1,244,860 in the last 90 days. 18.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ESNT. Nationwide Fund Advisors raised its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 31.0% in the 1st quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 142,902 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,169,000 after acquiring an additional 33,816 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in Essent Group by 27.7% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 739,280 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $26,740,000 after purchasing an additional 160,551 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP grew its position in Essent Group by 55.0% in the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 75,959 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,747,000 after purchasing an additional 26,957 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE grew its position in Essent Group by 4.6% in the 1st 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in Essent Group by 89.2% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 837,165 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $30,279,000 after purchasing an additional 394,599 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 81.44% 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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