Essent Group Ltd. (ESNT) Stock Rating Lowered by Bank of America Corp.
Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Bank of America Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.
ESNT has been the subject of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, August 5th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods downgraded Essent Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and upped their target price for the company from $26.00 to $26.50 in a report on Friday, August 5th. Barclays PLC upped their target price on Essent Group from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on Essent Group from $26.50 to $29.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, August 5th. Finally, TheStreet raised Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. Essent Group presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $27.05.
Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) opened at 26.45 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.09 and a beta of 1.09. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $26.58 and a 200 day moving average price of $22.78. Essent Group has a 1-year low of $16.49 and a 1-year high of $28.62.
Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.04. The business earned $108.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $105.30 million. Essent Group had a return on equity of 15.98% and a net margin of 46.40%. The company’s revenue was up 28.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.41 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Essent Group will post $2.28 EPS for the current year.
In other Essent Group news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 6,020 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.17, for a total value of $163,563.40. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 292,263 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,940,785.71. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Andrew Turnbull bought 36,353 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 6th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $21.33 per share, for a total transaction of $775,409.49. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 49,864 shares in the company, valued at $1,063,599.12. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 20.70% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 96.0% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 610,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,692,000 after buying an additional 298,800 shares during the last quarter. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC increased its stake in Essent Group by 169.5% in the second quarter. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC now owns 79,610 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,736,000 after buying an additional 50,065 shares during the period. UBS Group AG increased its stake in Essent Group by 33.6% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 51,198 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,065,000 after buying an additional 12,887 shares during the period. Glenmede Trust Co. NA increased its stake in Essent Group by 36.0% in the second quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 23,420 shares of the company’s stock valued at $510,000 after buying an additional 6,205 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB increased its stake in Essent Group by 243.3% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 27,609 shares of the company’s stock valued at $602,000 after buying an additional 19,567 shares during the period. 85.92% 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 serving the United States housing finance industry. It offers private mortgage insurance and reinsurance for mortgages secured by residential properties located in the United States. The primary mortgage insurance operations are conducted through Essent Guaranty, Inc (Essent Guaranty), a subsidiary of the company, which maintains operations centers and operates additional underwriting and service centers in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Irvine, California.
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