Shares of Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) have received an average rating of “Buy” from the nine analysts that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat.com reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have assigned a hold recommendation, four have assigned a buy recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $43.20.

A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on ESNT shares. Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Essent Group from an “underperform” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $38.00 to $43.00 in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on shares of Essent Group from $42.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Barclays PLC reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Essent Group in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) traded up 1.60% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $38.20. The stock had a trading volume of 1,078,666 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $3.57 billion, a PE ratio of 13.59 and a beta of 1.14. Essent Group has a 1-year low of $25.68 and a 1-year high of $41.44. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $38.27 and its 200-day moving average is $36.66.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $137.61 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $131.99 million. Essent Group had a net margin of 52.41% and a return on equity of 19.88%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 27.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.57 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Essent Group will post $3.08 EPS for the current year.

In other news, VP David B. Weinstock sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.51, for a total transaction of $77,020.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 3,118 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.00, for a total transaction of $124,720.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 272,167 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,886,680. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 29,918 shares of company stock valued at $1,166,960. Insiders own 18.10% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP acquired a new position in Essent Group during the fourth quarter valued at $10,106,000. Cim LLC raised its position in Essent Group by 2.9% in the first quarter. Cim LLC now owns 17,110 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $619,000 after buying an additional 480 shares during the period. Evanson Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Essent Group during the first quarter valued at $215,000. James Investment Research Inc. acquired a new position in Essent Group during the first quarter valued at $144,000. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors raised its position in Essent Group by 31.0% in the first quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 142,902 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,169,000 after buying an additional 33,816 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 86.12% of the company’s stock.

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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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