BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) by 0.3% during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 7,828,599 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 27,129 shares during the quarter. BlackRock Inc. owned 0.08% of Essent Group worth $340,153,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Advisor Group Inc. grew its holdings in Essent Group by 34.7% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $39,000 after acquiring an additional 295 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank acquired a new position in Essent Group during the fourth quarter worth about $60,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its holdings in Essent Group by 12.8% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 5,888 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $201,000 after acquiring an additional 668 shares during the period. Telemus Capital LLC acquired a new position in Essent Group during the first quarter worth about $204,000. Finally, US Bancorp DE grew its holdings in Essent Group by 9.3% during the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 4,800 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $209,000 after acquiring an additional 407 shares during the period. 90.13% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In other Essent Group news, SVP Vijay Bhasin sold 45,315 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.50, for a total transaction of $2,016,517.50. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 194,302 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,646,439. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 9,963 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.01, for a total value of $498,249.63. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 217,241 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,864,222.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 90,278 shares of company stock valued at $4,129,867 in the last quarter. 2.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research raised Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 8th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $49.60.

NYSE:ESNT opened at $48.59 on Thursday. Essent Group Ltd has a 1-year low of $31.08 and a 1-year high of $50.51. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.02, a P/E/G ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.40.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, May 3rd. The financial services provider reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.02. Essent Group had a return on equity of 21.36% and a net margin of 64.33%. The business had revenue of $200.53 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $196.94 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.13 EPS. Essent Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.7% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts expect that Essent Group Ltd will post 5.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Essent Group Profile

Essent Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides private mortgage insurance and reinsurance for mortgages secured by residential properties located in the United States. The company also provides information technology maintenance and development services; customer support-related services; and contract underwriting services.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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