Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday.

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. “

ESNT has been the subject of several other research reports. ValuEngine raised shares of Essent Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Friday, June 9th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Essent Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $43.00 price target on shares of Essent Group and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Barclays PLC lifted their price target on shares of Essent Group from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on shares of Essent Group from $42.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Essent Group presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $43.43.

Shares of Essent Group (ESNT) traded down 0.57% on Wednesday, reaching $40.11. 541,464 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $3.75 billion, a PE ratio of 14.27 and a beta of 1.14. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $38.91 and a 200 day moving average price of $37.64. Essent Group has a one year low of $25.84 and a one year high of $41.44.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. Essent Group had a net margin of 50.92% and a return on equity of 18.77%. The business had revenue of $137.61 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $131.99 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.57 EPS. Essent Group’s revenue was up 27.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Essent Group will post $3.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Essent Group news, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 4,600 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.04, for a total transaction of $188,784.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 262,902 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,789,498.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP David B. Weinstock sold 2,000 shares of Essent Group 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 a total of 22,918 shares of company stock worth $909,690 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Sei Investments Co. boosted its holdings in Essent Group by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 2,909 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $105,000 after acquiring an additional 74 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its holdings in Essent Group by 14.0% during the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,924 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $106,000 after acquiring an additional 360 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its holdings in Essent Group by 10.1% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $117,000 after acquiring an additional 288 shares during the last quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Essent Group during the 1st quarter worth $120,000. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP boosted its holdings in Essent Group by 186.3% during the 1st quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 4,203 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $152,000 after acquiring an additional 2,735 shares during the last quarter. 81.40% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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