Zacks Investment Research Lowers Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

NYSE:ESNT opened at $49.64 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $48.08. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.24, a P/E/G ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.33. Essent Group has a 52-week low of $31.08 and a 52-week high of $50.51.

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

In other Essent Group news, insider Joseph Hissong sold 19,886 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.34, for a total transaction of $961,289.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Jeff Cashmer sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.56, for a total value of $1,139,000.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 107,056 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,877,471.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 54,849 shares of company stock worth $2,598,539. Company insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ESNT. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Essent Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $30,423,000. Shoals Capital Management LP acquired a new position in Essent Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $20,935,000. American Century Companies Inc. increased its position in Essent Group by 104.8% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 971,251 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $33,197,000 after buying an additional 496,967 shares during the last quarter. Clark Capital Management Group Inc. acquired a new position in Essent Group during the first quarter worth approximately $20,554,000. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP increased its position in Essent Group by 36.4% during the first quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 1,465,102 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $63,659,000 after buying an additional 391,050 shares during the last quarter. 90.04% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Essent Group Company 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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