Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) by 8.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 7,171,835 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 555,591 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. owned approximately 7.68% of Essent Group worth $259,405,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. James Investment Research Inc. acquired a new position in Essent Group during the first quarter worth about $144,000. Peregrine Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of 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 worth $31,512,000 after buying an additional 61,010 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. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Essent Group by 57.1% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,138,526 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $69,221,000 after buying an additional 777,132 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cim LLC boosted 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. 86.11% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Essent Group Ltd. (ESNT) traded up 4.27% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $40.02. The company had a trading volume of 1,415,844 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $37.71 and a 200 day moving average of $36.37. Essent Group Ltd. has a 1-year low of $23.38 and a 1-year high of $40.12. The company has a market capitalization of $3.74 billion, a PE ratio of 15.33 and a beta of 1.14.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.07. Essent Group had a return on equity of 18.16% and a net margin of 49.91%. The company had revenue of $137.61 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $131.99 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.57 EPS. Essent Group’s quarterly revenue was up 27.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Essent Group Ltd. will post $2.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, July 10th. J P Morgan Chase & Co cut Essent Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $39.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Barclays PLC raised their target price on Essent Group from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $40.00 target price on shares of Essent Group in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Essent Group has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $38.86.

In related news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.01, for a total value of $76,020.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 279,285 shares in the company, valued at $10,615,622.85. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 4,207 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.00, for a total value of $164,073.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 275,495 shares in the company, valued at $10,744,305. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 17,600 shares of company stock valued at $669,410 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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