Shares of Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) have been assigned an average rating of “Buy” from the twelve brokerages that are covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and eight have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $47.89.

A number of research firms have recently commented on ESNT. Royal Bank of Canada began coverage on Essent Group in a research note on Wednesday. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $54.00 price objective on the stock. BTIG Research lifted their price objective on Essent Group from $49.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. ValuEngine lowered Essent Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Wells Fargo & Company began coverage on Essent Group in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $52.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Essent Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, November 13th.

Essent Group (ESNT) traded up $1.12 during trading on Friday, hitting $46.24. The stock had a trading volume of 797,532 shares, compared to its average volume of 877,741. The company has a market capitalization of $4,550.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.30, a PEG ratio of 1.49 and a beta of 1.15. Essent Group has a twelve month low of $31.54 and a twelve month high of $47.29.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.75 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $150.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $143.79 million. Essent Group had a return on equity of 18.55% and a net margin of 51.64%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.65 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Essent Group will post 3.08 EPS for the current year.

In related news, VP David B. Weinstock sold 3,000 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.71, for a total transaction of $125,130.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 25,785 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,075,492.35. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Andrew Turnbull sold 5,000 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.00, for a total value of $230,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 24,596 shares in the company, valued at $1,131,416. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 53,858 shares of company stock worth $2,414,044. 18.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Fortaleza Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Essent Group during the third quarter worth about $112,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its position in Essent Group by 10.1% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 288 shares in the last quarter. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Essent Group during the third quarter valued at approximately $219,000. Teacher Retirement System of Texas acquired a new stake in Essent Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $208,000. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new stake in Essent Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $243,000. 85.83% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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