Essent Group Ltd. (ESNT) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday.

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 analysts have also issued reports about the company. BTIG Research raised Essent Group from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. BidaskClub upgraded Essent Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, September 16th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $43.00 target price on Essent Group and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Barclays PLC raised their target price on Essent Group from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised their target price on Essent Group from $42.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $44.75.

Shares of Essent Group (NYSE ESNT) traded up 2.05% on Tuesday, hitting $41.35. The company had a trading volume of 359,562 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $3.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.72 and a beta of 1.14. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $39.09 and its 200 day moving average is $37.79. Essent Group has a 52 week low of $25.84 and a 52 week high of $41.44.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. Essent Group had a return on equity of 18.77% and a net margin of 50.92%. The company had revenue of $137.61 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $131.99 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.57 earnings per share. Essent Group’s quarterly revenue was up 27.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Essent Group will post $3.05 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 4,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.04, for a total value of $188,784.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 262,902 shares in the company, valued at $10,789,498.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP David B. Weinstock sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.95, for a total value of $77,900.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 30,785 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,199,075.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 20,918 shares of company stock worth $832,670. Company insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ESNT. Sei Investments Co. lifted its position in Essent Group by 2.6% during the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 2,909 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its position in Essent Group by 14.0% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,924 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 360 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in Essent Group by 10.1% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 288 shares in the last quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Essent Group during the first quarter worth approximately $120,000. Finally, US Bancorp DE lifted its position in Essent Group by 4.6% during the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 4,946 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $179,000 after buying an additional 218 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.40% of the company’s stock.

About Essent Group

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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