First Mercantile Trust Co. cut its stake in shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) by 3.0% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 13,430 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 410 shares during the period. First Mercantile Trust Co.’s holdings in Essent Group were worth $499,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP acquired a new position in Essent Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $10,106,000. Cim LLC increased its position in shares of Essent Group by 2.9% in the first quarter. Cim LLC now owns 17,110 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $619,000 after buying an additional 480 shares in the last quarter. Evanson Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Essent Group during the first quarter worth about $215,000. James Investment Research Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Essent Group during the first quarter worth about $144,000. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Essent Group by 31.0% in the first quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 142,902 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,169,000 after buying an additional 33,816 shares in the last quarter. 85.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Essent Group Ltd. (ESNT) opened at 38.77 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $38.44 and its 200-day moving average is $36.76. Essent Group Ltd. has a 12-month low of $25.67 and a 12-month high of $41.44. The firm has a market cap of $3.62 billion, a PE ratio of 13.80 and a beta of 1.14.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last released its earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $137.61 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $131.99 million. Essent Group had a return on equity of 18.77% and a net margin of 50.92%. The business’s revenue was up 27.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.57 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Essent Group Ltd. will post $3.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, July 10th. J P Morgan Chase & Co downgraded shares of Essent Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $39.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Friday, April 21st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 9th. Barclays PLC lifted their price target on shares of Essent Group from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $43.50.

In other news, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 4,600 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.04, for a total transaction of $188,784.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 262,902 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,789,498.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 7,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 279,285 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,330,752.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 29,918 shares of company stock valued at $1,166,960. Company insiders own 18.10% 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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