Wells Fargo Lowers Essent Group (ESNT) to Market Perform

Wells Fargo downgraded shares of Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report issued on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The firm currently has $52.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

ESNT has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Deutsche Bank upgraded Essent Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their price objective for the company from $49.00 to $61.00 in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on Essent Group in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. They issued an outperform rating and a $54.00 price objective for the company. Barclays reduced their price objective on Essent Group from $57.00 to $51.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 11th. ValuEngine downgraded Essent Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, April 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Essent Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $51.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, December 25th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $52.16.

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Shares of Essent Group stock opened at $34.37 on Thursday. Essent Group has a 12-month low of $32.91 and a 12-month high of $50.08. The firm has a market cap of $3,371.49, a P/E ratio of 11.09, a P/E/G ratio of 0.72 and a beta of 1.17.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $161.77 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $155.22 million. Essent Group had a return on equity of 17.77% and a net margin of 65.87%. Essent Group’s revenue was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.68 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Essent Group will post 4.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Mark Casale sold 370,673 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.50, for a total transaction of $16,494,948.50. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,845,356 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $82,118,342. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 3.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ESNT. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its position in shares of Essent Group by 21.2% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 33,471 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,355,000 after buying an additional 5,858 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of Essent Group by 10.9% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 940,247 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $38,080,000 after buying an additional 92,447 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its position in shares of Essent Group by 12.6% during the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 12,826 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $516,000 after buying an additional 1,438 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its position in shares of Essent Group by 14.3% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 142,669 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,778,000 after buying an additional 17,869 shares during the last quarter. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP lifted its position in shares of Essent Group by 347.0% during the 3rd quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 29,295 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,186,000 after buying an additional 22,742 shares during the last quarter. 88.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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. The company also provides information technology maintenance and development services; customer support-related services; and contract underwriting services.

Analyst Recommendations for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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