Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) has earned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the six analysts that are covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month target price among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $48.75.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of ExlService from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 10th.

Essent Group stock traded down $0.78 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $46.98. The stock had a trading volume of 425,525 shares, compared to its average volume of 551,061. The stock has a market cap of $4.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.69, a P/E/G ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.33. The company has a 50 day moving average of $48.12. Essent Group has a one year low of $31.08 and a one year high of $50.51.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last issued its earnings results on Friday, May 3rd. The financial services provider reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $200.53 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $196.94 million. Essent Group had a net margin of 64.33% and a return on equity of 21.36%. Essent Group’s quarterly revenue was up 19.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.13 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Essent Group will post 5.27 EPS for the current year.

In other Essent Group news, insider Joseph Hissong sold 19,886 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.34, for a total transaction of $961,289.24. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 57,519 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,780,468.46. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 9,963 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.01, for a total transaction of $498,249.63. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 217,241 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,864,222.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Navellier & Associates Inc increased its position in shares of Essent Group by 7.4% during the second quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc now owns 16,778 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $788,000 after acquiring an additional 1,160 shares during the period. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its position in shares of Essent Group by 96.0% during the second quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 1,470 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $69,000 after acquiring an additional 720 shares during the period. Unigestion Holding SA increased its position in shares of Essent Group by 6.9% during the second quarter. Unigestion Holding SA now owns 74,475 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,500,000 after acquiring an additional 4,798 shares during the period. First Hawaiian Bank increased its position in shares of Essent Group by 11.7% during the second quarter. First Hawaiian Bank now owns 15,819 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $743,000 after acquiring an additional 1,656 shares during the period. Finally, Clark Capital Management Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Essent Group by 49.7% during the second quarter. Clark Capital Management Group Inc. now owns 707,937 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $33,266,000 after acquiring an additional 234,887 shares during the period. 90.07% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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