Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) Given Average Recommendation of “Buy” by Brokerages

Shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNTGet Rating) have earned an average rating of “Buy” from the ten research firms that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year price target among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $55.44.

A number of research analysts recently commented on ESNT shares. StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of Essent Group in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Essent Group from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $47.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 11th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 20th. The Goldman Sachs Group lowered their price objective on shares of Essent Group from $55.00 to $47.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 4th. Finally, Barclays raised their price objective on shares of Essent Group from $65.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, January 10th.

In other Essent Group news, Director Robert Glanville acquired 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 9th. The shares were bought at an average price of $40.71 per share, with a total value of $40,710.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. 2.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in ESNT. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Essent Group by 31.9% during the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 124,034 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,389,000 after acquiring an additional 29,966 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 154.6% during the 3rd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 30,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,333,000 after purchasing an additional 18,400 shares during the last quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 6.5% during the 3rd quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 95,780 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,215,000 after purchasing an additional 5,864 shares during the last quarter. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D now owns 57,435 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,528,000 after purchasing an additional 379 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 99.3% during the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 263,674 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,856,000 after purchasing an additional 131,365 shares during the last quarter. 92.10% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE ESNT opened at $41.69 on Friday. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $42.57 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.82. The company has a market capitalization of $4.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.63 and a beta of 1.29. Essent Group has a 12 month low of $39.26 and a 12 month high of $54.22.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNTGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Friday, February 11th. The financial services provider reported $1.64 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $256.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $240.66 million. Essent Group had a net margin of 66.29% and a return on equity of 16.62%. The company’s revenue was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.10 EPS. As a group, equities analysts expect that Essent Group will post 6.54 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 21st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 10th were issued a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.92%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 9th. This is a positive change from Essent Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. Essent Group’s payout ratio is currently 13.09%.

Essent Group Company Profile (Get Rating)

Essent Group Ltd. is a holding company, which engages in the provision of banking services. It offers mortgage insurance, reinsurance, and risk management products. The company was founded by Mark A. Casale on July 1, 2008 and is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.

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Analyst Recommendations for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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