Essent Group’s (ESNT) “Buy” Rating Reiterated at Wells Fargo & Co

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)‘s stock had its “buy” rating restated by research analysts at Wells Fargo & Co in a research report issued on Friday. They currently have a $58.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Wells Fargo & Co’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 23.80% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “We still think ESNT is the best growth story in our coverage universe. 2,288 of 2,630 new loans in default were identified as related to Harvey and Irma. ESNT’s master policy provides protections to the company from defaults due to catastrophic property damage. MI master policies cover losses arising from economic default and do not cover claims that were principally caused by physical damage, including damage caused by floods or other natural disasters. We expect reserve releases in the near future for defaults associated with hurricanes.””

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Deutsche Bank upgraded Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $49.00 to $61.00 in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, December 25th. BTIG Research upped their price target on Essent Group from $49.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. ValuEngine cut Essent Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. Essent Group has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $52.52.

Essent Group (ESNT) traded down $0.61 on Friday, reaching $46.85. The company had a trading volume of 554,747 shares, compared to its average volume of 714,830. Essent Group has a 12-month low of $33.45 and a 12-month high of $50.08. The firm has a market capitalization of $4,499.42, a PE ratio of 11.83, a PEG ratio of 1.05 and a beta of 1.15.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.78 by $0.01. Essent Group had a return on equity of 18.84% and a net margin of 65.87%. The firm had revenue of $161.77 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $155.22 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.68 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Essent Group will post 4.34 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Mark Casale sold 370,673 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.50, for a total transaction of $16,494,948.50. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,845,356 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $82,118,342. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Andrew Turnbull sold 15,813 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.62, for a total value of $721,389.06. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 45,409 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,071,558.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 401,686 shares of company stock worth $17,906,354 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ESNT. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its holdings in Essent Group by 23.4% in the second quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 120,540 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,477,000 after buying an additional 22,889 shares during the last quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new position in Essent Group in the second quarter valued at $243,000. Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in Essent Group by 5.9% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 982,398 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $36,486,000 after buying an additional 54,794 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in Essent Group by 4.3% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 124,800 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,635,000 after buying an additional 5,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. increased its holdings in Essent Group by 470.9% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 8,192 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $304,000 after buying an additional 6,757 shares during the last quarter. 86.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Essent Group Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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