OppenheimerFunds Inc. Acquires Shares of 370,894 Essent Group Ltd. (ESNT)

OppenheimerFunds Inc. bought a new stake in Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm bought 370,894 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $13,415,000.

Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 8.4% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 71,862 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,326,000 after buying an additional 5,548 shares during the period. Two Sigma Investments LP raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 63.0% in the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 278,284 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $9,008,000 after buying an additional 107,546 shares during the period. A.R.T. Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Essent Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $433,000. Capstone Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Essent Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $381,000. Finally, New York State Teachers Retirement System raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 6,600 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $214,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. 85.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

Essent Group Ltd. (ESNT) traded down 1.22% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $36.39. The stock had a trading volume of 18,661 shares. Essent Group Ltd. has a 52 week low of $19.89 and a 52 week high of $39.50. The firm has a market cap of $3.40 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.94 and a beta of 1.14. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $36.42 and a 200-day moving average of $35.21.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, May 5th. The financial services provider reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $127.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $126.70 million. Essent Group had a return on equity of 18.16% and a net margin of 49.91%. Essent Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.52 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Essent Group Ltd. will post $2.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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A number of research analysts have recently commented on ESNT shares. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $38.00 price target on Essent Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 17th. Bank of America Corporation raised 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. Zacks Investment Research lowered Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 10th. Barclays PLC raised their price target on Essent Group from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 8th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $38.29.

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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