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

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 brokerages have also recently weighed in on ESNT. BTIG Research upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Barclays PLC reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price objective on shares of Essent Group from $42.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub cut shares of Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $43.00 price objective on shares of Essent Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $43.43.

Shares of Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) traded down 1.53% on Wednesday, hitting $39.92. 900,333 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $38.79 and a 200-day moving average price of $37.57. Essent Group has a one year low of $25.84 and a one year high of $41.44. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.73 billion, a PE ratio of 14.21 and a beta of 1.14.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last announced its earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $137.61 million during 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 revenue was up 27.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.57 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Essent Group will post $3.06 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 3,118 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.00, for a total value of $124,720.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 272,167 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,886,680. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.02, for a total transaction of $78,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 275,285 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,741,620.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 24,918 shares of company stock valued at $987,730 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of ESNT. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 6,828.8% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,844,752 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $211,403,000 after buying an additional 5,760,398 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 479.9% in the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,682,248 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $44,764,000 after buying an additional 1,392,146 shares in the last quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Essent Group in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $34,017,000. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Essent Group in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $33,572,000. Finally, State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 57.1% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,138,526 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $69,221,000 after buying an additional 777,132 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 81.40% of the company’s stock.

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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