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 report issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $44.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 14.97% from the stock’s previous close.

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

Essent Group (NYSE ESNT) opened at 38.27 on Monday. Essent Group has a 52-week low of $21.68 and a 52-week high of $39.50. The firm has a market cap of $3.57 billion, a PE ratio of 14.66 and a beta of 1.14. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $36.40 and its 200 day moving average price is $35.38.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last issued its earnings results on Friday, May 5th. The financial services provider reported $0.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $127.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $126.70 million. Essent Group had a net margin of 49.91% and a return on equity of 18.16%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.52 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Essent Group will post $2.94 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 7,000 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction on 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 approximately $10,330,752.15. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction on Friday, July 7th. The stock was 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 ninety days, insiders sold 11,000 shares of company stock valued at $412,990. 18.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. James Investment Research Inc. bought a new position in Essent Group during the first quarter worth about $144,000. Peregrine Capital Management LLC raised its position in Essent Group by 7.4% in the first quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 887,404 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $31,512,000 after buying an additional 61,010 shares during the period. Evanson Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Essent Group during the first quarter worth about $215,000. State Street Corp raised its position 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 worth $69,221,000 after buying an additional 777,132 shares during the period. Finally, Cim LLC raised its position in Essent Group by 2.9% in the first quarter. Cim LLC now owns 17,110 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $619,000 after buying an additional 480 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.64% of the company’s stock.

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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