Macquarie Group Ltd. lowered its position in Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) by 9.7% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 1,210,700 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 129,707 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd.’s holdings in Essent Group were worth $52,569,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of ESNT. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 24.7% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,903,032 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $343,152,000 after acquiring an additional 1,562,879 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. raised its position in shares of Essent Group by 242.5% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,144,800 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $41,395,000 after acquiring an additional 810,600 shares during the period. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. increased its stake in shares of Essent Group by 69.3% during the fourth quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. now owns 1,068,425 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $46,390,000 after purchasing an additional 437,425 shares in the last quarter. Bain Capital Public Equity Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Essent Group during the fourth quarter worth about $18,635,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Essent Group by 58.5% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,052,044 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $42,607,000 after purchasing an additional 388,455 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.01% of the company’s stock.
In related news, CEO Mark Casale sold 370,673 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.50, for a total transaction of $16,494,948.50. Following the completion of the sale, 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 filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 18.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of analysts have recently commented on ESNT shares. Zelman & Associates raised shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Compass Point boosted their target price on shares of Essent Group from $57.50 to $60.75 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $62.00 target price on shares of Essent Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Wells Fargo reissued a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 target price on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Finally, Deutsche Bank raised shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $49.00 to $61.00 in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $53.31.
Shares of Essent Group stock opened at $40.06 on Monday. Essent Group Ltd has a one year low of $33.45 and a one year high of $50.08. The stock has a market cap of $3,929.66, a PE ratio of 12.92, a P/E/G ratio of 0.82 and a beta of 1.14.
Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.01. Essent Group had a net margin of 65.87% and a return on equity of 17.77%. The company had revenue of $161.77 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $155.22 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.68 EPS. Essent Group’s revenue was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Essent Group Ltd will post 4.42 earnings per share for the current year.
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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.
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