Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) Sees Large Drop in Short Interest

Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) saw a significant drop in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 960,000 shares, a drop of 13.9% from the June 30th total of 1,114,400 shares. Currently, 1.0% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 624,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.5 days.

In other news, VP David B. Weinstock sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.87, for a total value of $95,740.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 9,963 shares of the 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 owns 217,241 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,864,222.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 31,849 shares of company stock worth $1,555,279 in the last 90 days. 2.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in Essent Group by 34.7% during the 4th quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $39,000 after purchasing an additional 295 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in Essent Group by 21.3% during the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 41,046 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,403,000 after purchasing an additional 7,218 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Essent Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $30,423,000. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Essent Group by 8.5% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,343,164 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $45,909,000 after purchasing an additional 104,923 shares during the period. Finally, Calamos Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Essent Group during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $613,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.52% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on ESNT shares. BTIG Research reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 price objective on shares of Essent Group in a report on Sunday, August 4th. ValuEngine cut shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.50.

Shares of Essent Group stock traded up $0.47 on Thursday, hitting $45.98. The company had a trading volume of 378,443 shares, compared to its average volume of 594,028. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $47.17 and a 200-day simple moving average of $45.93. The company has a market cap of $4.52 billion, a PE ratio of 9.48, a PEG ratio of 0.84 and a beta of 1.30. Essent Group has a 52 week low of $31.08 and a 52 week high of $50.51.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 2nd. The financial services provider reported $1.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $211.89 million during the quarter. Essent Group had a net margin of 64.34% and a return on equity of 21.05%. On average, equities analysts expect that Essent Group will post 5.47 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 16th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 4th will be issued a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.30%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 3rd.

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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