Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Monday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $51.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

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. “

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. BTIG Research raised their target price on shares of Essent Group from $49.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. ValuEngine cut shares of Essent Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Deutsche Bank raised their target price on shares of Essent Group from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. BidaskClub raised shares of Essent Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $44.00 target price on shares of Essent Group in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $48.20.

Essent Group (NYSE ESNT) opened at $45.08 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $4,437.41, a PE ratio of 15.08, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 1.15. Essent Group has a 12 month low of $31.54 and a 12 month high of $47.29.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $150.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $143.79 million. Essent Group had a net margin of 51.64% and a return on equity of 18.55%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 23.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.65 earnings per share. analysts predict that Essent Group will post 3.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP David B. Weinstock sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.71, for a total transaction of $125,130.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 25,785 shares in the company, valued at $1,075,492.35. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Andrew Turnbull sold 15,813 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.62, for a total transaction of $721,389.06. Following the transaction, the director now owns 45,409 shares in the company, valued at $2,071,558.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 53,858 shares of company stock worth $2,414,044. 18.10% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ESNT. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Essent Group by 57.7% during the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,351,264 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $95,226,000 after acquiring an additional 860,300 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Essent Group by 9.1% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,826,998 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $290,695,000 after purchasing an additional 655,163 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in Essent Group by 18.7% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,755,887 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $139,494,000 after purchasing an additional 592,824 shares during the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in Essent Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $395,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in Essent Group by 58.5% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,052,044 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $42,607,000 after purchasing an additional 388,455 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.83% of the company’s stock.

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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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