Essent Group (ESNT) Raised to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Monday, November 13th.

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 analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Deutsche Bank lifted their target price on shares of Essent Group from $42.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Compass Point reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $50.00 target price (up from $38.00) on shares of Essent Group in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised shares of Essent Group from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $43.00 to $44.00 in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $45.78.

Shares of Essent Group (NYSE ESNT) traded up $0.82 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $45.07. 1,337,166 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,005,232. The company has a market cap of $4,355.71, a P/E ratio of 14.80, a PEG ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.15. Essent Group has a 12-month low of $30.92 and a 12-month high of $45.55.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $150.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $143.79 million. Essent Group had a net margin of 51.64% and a return on equity of 18.55%. Essent Group’s quarterly revenue was up 23.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.65 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Essent Group will post 3.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Robert Glanville sold 3,000 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.88, for a total value of $134,640.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 5,209 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.02, for a total transaction of $234,509.18. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 252,857 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,383,622.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 25,045 shares of company stock valued at $1,090,475 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in Essent Group by 1,181.9% during the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 37,484 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,392,000 after acquiring an additional 34,560 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its holdings in Essent Group by 26.4% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 110,244 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,094,000 after buying an additional 23,018 shares during the period. Renaissance Group LLC increased its holdings in Essent Group by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Group LLC now owns 23,276 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $864,000 after buying an additional 1,205 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Essent Group by 18.6% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 735,340 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $27,311,000 after buying an additional 115,177 shares during the period. Finally, First Quadrant L P CA bought a new stake in Essent Group in the 3rd quarter valued at $420,000. 85.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

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