Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, July 10th. The brokerage presently has a $44.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 9.95% from the stock’s current price.

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. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Barclays PLC raised their price target on shares of Essent Group from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, May 15th. J P Morgan Chase & Co lowered shares of Essent Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $39.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $40.00 price objective on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Tuesday, May 30th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 9th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation raised shares of Essent Group from an “underperform” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $38.00 to $43.00 in a report on Tuesday, May 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $41.00.

Shares of Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) traded up 4.27% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $40.02. The stock had a trading volume of 1,415,844 shares. The company has a market cap of $3.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.33 and a beta of 1.14. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $37.71 and its 200 day moving average price is $36.37. Essent Group has a 52 week low of $24.89 and a 52 week high of $40.12.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. Essent Group had a net margin of 49.91% and a return on equity of 18.16%. The company had revenue of $137.61 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $131.99 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.57 EPS. Essent Group’s quarterly revenue was up 27.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Essent Group will post $2.94 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other Essent Group news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 7,000 shares of the business’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 transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 279,285 shares in the company, valued at $10,330,752.15. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.02, for a total transaction of $78,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 275,285 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,741,620.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 17,600 shares of company stock worth $669,410. 18.10% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Essent Group by 6,828.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,844,752 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $211,403,000 after buying an additional 5,760,398 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in Essent Group by 57.1% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,138,526 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $69,221,000 after buying an additional 777,132 shares during the last quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP acquired a new stake in Essent Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $27,573,000. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Essent Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $21,161,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Essent Group by 8.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,171,835 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $259,405,000 after buying an additional 555,591 shares in the last quarter. 86.11% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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