Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $43.00 target price 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. “

Several other research analysts also recently commented on ESNT. J P Morgan Chase & Co downgraded shares of Essent Group from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $39.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Friday, April 21st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a hold rating and set a $40.00 price objective on shares of Essent Group in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of Essent Group from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Monday, May 8th. Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Essent Group from an underperform rating to a buy rating and upped their price target for the stock from $38.00 to $43.00 in a report on Tuesday, May 9th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Essent Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Essent Group presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $38.86.

Shares of Essent Group (NYSE ESNT) opened at 37.73 on Wednesday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $37.59 and its 200-day moving average price is $36.22. Essent Group has a 12-month low of $23.38 and a 12-month high of $39.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.52 billion, a PE ratio of 14.46 and a beta of 1.14.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, May 5th. The financial services provider reported $0.72 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.03. Essent Group had a net margin of 49.91% and a return on equity of 18.16%. The business had revenue of $127.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $126.70 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.52 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 24.5% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Essent Group will post $2.94 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 7,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.99, for a total value of $258,930.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 279,285 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,330,752.15. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP David B. Weinstock sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.51, for a total transaction of $77,020.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 17,600 shares of company stock valued at $669,410 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. James Investment Research Inc. purchased a new position in Essent Group during the first quarter valued at $144,000. Peregrine Capital Management LLC raised its position in Essent Group by 7.4% in the first quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 887,404 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $31,512,000 after buying an additional 61,010 shares in the last quarter. Evanson Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Essent Group during the first quarter valued at $215,000. Cim LLC raised its position in Essent Group by 2.9% in the first quarter. Cim LLC now owns 17,110 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $619,000 after buying an additional 480 shares in the last quarter. Finally, US Bancorp DE raised its position in Essent Group by 4.6% in the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 4,946 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $179,000 after buying an additional 218 shares in the last quarter. 86.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Essent Group

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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