Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) has been given an average rating of “Buy” by the ten research firms that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $44.83.

Several research firms have issued reports on ESNT. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. BidaskClub cut shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Compass Point restated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price (up previously from $38.00) on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Barclays PLC restated a “buy” rating on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th.

Shares of Essent Group (ESNT) traded up 0.71% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $43.73. 1,088,602 shares of the stock traded hands. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $40.35 and its 200 day moving average price is $38.27. Essent Group has a 1-year low of $25.84 and a 1-year high of $45.10. The company has a market capitalization of $4.09 billion, a PE ratio of 15.56 and a beta of 1.14.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $137.61 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations 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 business posted $0.57 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Essent Group will post $3.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 3,118 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.00, for a total transaction of $124,720.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 272,167 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,886,680. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 5,209 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.02, for a total transaction of $234,509.18. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 252,857 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,383,622.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 36,363 shares of company stock worth $1,531,285 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in shares of Essent Group by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 2,909 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $105,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in shares of 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 valued at $117,000 after purchasing an additional 288 shares during the last quarter. Dixon Hubard Feinour & Brown Inc. VA purchased a new stake in shares of Essent Group during the 2nd quarter valued at about $201,000. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Essent Group during the 2nd quarter valued at about $206,000. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas purchased a new stake in shares of Essent Group during the 2nd quarter valued at about $208,000. 81.02% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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