New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its stake in shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) by 13.2% during the 3rd quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 236,288 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 27,483 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund’s holdings in Essent Group were worth $8,745,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the business. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in Essent Group by 5.3% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 263,942 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $9,768,000 after acquiring an additional 13,213 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 17.2% during the 3rd quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 23,563 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $872,000 after purchasing an additional 3,452 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James & Associates lifted its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 7.3% during the 3rd quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 42,397 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,569,000 after purchasing an additional 2,872 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 64.6% during the 3rd quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 37,525 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,389,000 after purchasing an additional 14,725 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Baltimore Washington Financial Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 2,475.3% during the 3rd quarter. Baltimore Washington Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 84,469 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,126,000 after purchasing an additional 81,189 shares during the last quarter. 93.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE ESNT opened at $45.02 on Friday. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $42.10 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $36.57. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.06 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.72 and a beta of 1.42. Essent Group Ltd. has a fifty-two week low of $17.52 and a fifty-two week high of $55.84.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last posted its earnings results on Friday, November 6th. The financial services provider reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.12. Essent Group had a return on equity of 14.53% and a net margin of 49.62%. The firm had revenue of $243.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $240.48 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.47 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Essent Group Ltd. will post 3.7 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 10th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 1st will be given a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 30th. Essent Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 11.31%.

ESNT has been the subject of several analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on Essent Group from $44.50 to $50.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, November 9th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 11th. MKM Partners raised their target price on Essent Group from $45.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 8th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on Essent Group from $39.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 10th. Finally, The Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on Essent Group in a research note on Monday, September 21st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $46.00 target price for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $47.33.

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. Its mortgage insurance products include primary, pool, and master policy. 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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