Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.

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. “

Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on ESNT. Barclays PLC raised their target price on shares of Essent Group from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $40.00 target price on shares of Essent Group in a report on Tuesday, May 30th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. BidaskClub cut shares of Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised their price target on shares of Essent Group from $42.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Essent Group presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $43.67.

Essent Group (NYSE ESNT) traded down 2.08% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $36.17. 1,015,405 shares of the stock traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average is $38.53 and its 200-day moving average is $37.03. Essent Group has a one year low of $25.72 and a one year high of $41.44. The company has a market cap of $3.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.87 and a beta of 1.14.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $137.61 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $131.99 million. Essent Group had a net margin of 50.92% and a return on equity of 18.77%. Essent Group’s quarterly revenue was up 27.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.57 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Essent Group will post $3.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.01, for a total value of $76,020.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 279,285 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,615,622.85. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.99, for a total value of $258,930.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 279,285 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,330,752.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 31,918 shares of company stock worth $1,244,860. 18.10% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in Essent Group by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 2,909 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $105,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in Essent Group by 14.0% during the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,924 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $106,000 after acquiring an additional 360 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in Essent Group by 10.1% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $117,000 after acquiring an additional 288 shares during the last quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Essent Group during the 1st quarter worth approximately $120,000. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP boosted its position in Essent Group by 186.3% during the 1st quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 4,203 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $152,000 after acquiring an additional 2,735 shares during the last quarter. 81.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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