Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, October 4th.

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 research analysts have also issued reports on ESNT. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Essent Group in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Essent Group from $42.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised Essent Group from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $43.00 to $44.00 in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. ValuEngine raised Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $44.75.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) traded up 2.67% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $41.60. 949,838 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $39.16 and a 200-day moving average price of $37.83. The company has a market capitalization of $3.89 billion, a PE ratio of 14.80 and a beta of 1.14. Essent Group has a 52 week low of $25.84 and a 52 week high of $41.72.

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

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

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its holdings in Essent Group by 1,181.9% in the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 37,484 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,392,000 after purchasing an additional 34,560 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Group LLC lifted its holdings in Essent Group by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Group LLC now owns 23,276 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $864,000 after purchasing an additional 1,205 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Essent Group by 18.6% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 735,340 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $27,311,000 after purchasing an additional 115,177 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE lifted its holdings in Essent Group by 8.0% in the 1st quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 378,798 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $13,701,000 after purchasing an additional 27,952 shares during the last quarter. Finally, US Bancorp DE lifted its holdings in Essent Group by 4.6% in the 1st quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 4,946 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $179,000 after purchasing an additional 218 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other 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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