Analysts at Macquarie started coverage on shares of Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, March 14th, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The brokerage set an “outperform” rating and a $62.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Macquarie’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 47.37% from the company’s previous close.
A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on ESNT. Wells Fargo reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Tuesday, March 13th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on shares of Essent Group to $59.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Zelman & Associates raised shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, February 12th. Compass Point upped their price target on shares of Essent Group from $57.50 to $60.75 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, February 12th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Essent Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 9th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $53.31.
Shares of NYSE ESNT traded down $0.82 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $42.07. The company had a trading volume of 885,182 shares, compared to its average volume of 775,000. Essent Group has a one year low of $34.08 and a one year high of $50.08. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,178.82, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.57, a PEG ratio of 0.88 and a beta of 1.17.
Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 the consensus estimate of $155.22 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.68 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Essent Group will post 4.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, CEO Mark Casale sold 370,673 shares of Essent Group stock in a transaction on Monday, February 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.50, for a total value of $16,494,948.50. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,845,356 shares in the company, valued at approximately $82,118,342. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 18.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Essent Group by 24.7% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,903,032 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $343,152,000 after purchasing an additional 1,562,879 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners boosted its stake in Essent Group by 14.9% during the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 1,455,876 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $63,214,000 after acquiring an additional 188,675 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in Essent Group by 11.5% during the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,340,407 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $54,286,000 after acquiring an additional 137,846 shares in the last quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP boosted its stake in Essent Group by 23.4% during the third quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 1,206,810 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $48,876,000 after acquiring an additional 228,715 shares in the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. raised its holdings in 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 buying an additional 810,600 shares during the last quarter. 89.01% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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