Zacks Investment Research Lowers Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

Shares of ESNT opened at $49.64 on Wednesday. Essent Group has a one year low of $31.08 and a one year high of $50.51. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.24, a P/E/G ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.33. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $48.08.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, May 3rd. The financial services provider reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.02. Essent Group had a net margin of 64.33% and a return on equity of 21.36%. The business had revenue of $200.53 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $196.94 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.13 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 19.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that Essent Group will post 5.3 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Essent Group news, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 9,963 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.01, for a total transaction of $498,249.63. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 217,241 shares in the company, valued at $10,864,222.41. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Jeff Cashmer sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.56, for a total transaction of $1,139,000.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 107,056 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,877,471.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 54,849 shares of company stock valued at $2,598,539. Company insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ESNT. Advisor Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 34.7% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $39,000 after buying an additional 295 shares in the last quarter. Group One Trading L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Essent Group during the first quarter worth $119,000. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Essent Group during the second quarter worth $146,000. Telemus Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Essent Group during the first quarter worth $204,000. Finally, Toth Financial Advisory Corp acquired a new position in shares of Essent Group during the first quarter worth $217,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.04% of the company’s stock.

About Essent Group

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.

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