Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) was downgraded by Bank of America Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.
A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on ESNT. Barclays PLC set a $30.00 target price on Essent Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, September 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their target price on Essent Group from $26.50 to $29.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Compass Point lifted their target price on Essent Group from $24.00 to $26.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods downgraded Essent Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $26.00 to $26.50 in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $27.05.
Shares of Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) opened at 26.45 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $26.58 and a 200-day moving average price of $22.78. The company has a market cap of $2.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.09 and a beta of 1.09. Essent Group has a 12 month low of $16.49 and a 12 month high of $28.62.
Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.04. Essent Group had a return on equity of 15.98% and a net margin of 46.40%. The firm had revenue of $108.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $105.30 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.41 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Essent Group will post $2.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, Director Andrew Turnbull acquired 36,353 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 6th. The stock was bought at an average price of $21.33 per share, for a total transaction of $775,409.49. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 49,864 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,063,599.12. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 7,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.83, for a total value of $208,725.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 271,481 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,555,316.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 20.70% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP bought a new stake in shares of Essent Group during the second quarter valued at about $16,617,000. Teachers Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Essent Group by 793.3% in the second quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 725,104 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,815,000 after buying an additional 643,931 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Essent Group by 12.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,192,741 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,253,000 after buying an additional 585,157 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of Essent Group by 33.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 1,781,571 shares of the company’s stock valued at $38,856,000 after buying an additional 448,760 shares during the period. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Essent Group by 9.8% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,959,140 shares of the company’s stock valued at $86,349,000 after buying an additional 353,168 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.92% of the company’s stock.
About Essent Group
Essent Group Ltd. is a private mortgage insurance company. The Company is engaged in serving the United States housing finance industry. It offers private mortgage insurance and reinsurance for mortgages secured by residential properties located in the United States. The primary mortgage insurance operations are conducted through Essent Guaranty, Inc (Essent Guaranty), a subsidiary of the company, which maintains operations centers and operates additional underwriting and service centers in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Irvine, California.
Receive News & Ratings for Essent Group Ltd. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Essent Group Ltd. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.