Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $43.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 13.70% from the stock’s current price.

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. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. J P Morgan Chase & Co cut Essent Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $39.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Bank of America Corporation upgraded 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 report on Tuesday, May 9th. Barclays PLC lifted their target price on Essent Group from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 15th. ValuEngine upgraded Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $40.00 target price on shares of Essent Group in a report on Friday, April 28th. Six equities research 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 stock. Essent Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $38.86.

Shares of Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) traded down 1.38% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $37.82. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 324,106 shares. Essent Group has a 12-month low of $23.38 and a 12-month high of $39.61. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $37.31 and a 200 day moving average of $36.11. The firm has a market cap of $3.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.49 and a beta of 1.14.

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

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In other Essent Group news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 275,285 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,741,620.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 4,207 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.00, for a total value of $164,073.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 275,495 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,744,305. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 17,600 shares of company stock valued at $669,410. 18.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ESNT. Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in shares of Essent Group by 2.6% in 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 during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in shares of Essent Group by 14.0% in 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 during the period. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Essent Group during the first quarter worth about $120,000. James Investment Research Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Essent Group during the first quarter worth about $144,000. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP increased its stake in shares of Essent Group by 186.3% in the first quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 4,203 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $152,000 after buying an additional 2,735 shares during the period. 86.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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