18,258 Shares in Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) Purchased by Richard Bernstein Advisors LLC

Richard Bernstein Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm purchased 18,258 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $789,000.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Ninety One UK Ltd boosted its position in shares of Essent Group by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. Ninety One UK Ltd now owns 1,254,859 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $54,210,000 after buying an additional 16,112 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its position in shares of Essent Group by 13.2% during the third quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 236,288 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $8,745,000 after buying an additional 27,483 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its position in shares of Essent Group by 1.1% during the third quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 330,696 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $12,239,000 after buying an additional 3,718 shares during the period. Harbor Investment Advisory LLC boosted its position in shares of Essent Group by 142.1% during the third quarter. Harbor Investment Advisory LLC now owns 1,070 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $40,000 after buying an additional 628 shares during the period. Finally, LSV Asset Management boosted its position in shares of Essent Group by 45.1% during the third quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 1,431,461 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $52,978,000 after buying an additional 444,964 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 95.43% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:ESNT opened at $43.30 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $4.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.14 and a beta of 1.34. Essent Group Ltd. has a 52 week low of $17.52 and a 52 week high of $49.53. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $45.16 and a 200 day moving average of $41.86.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 18th. The financial services provider reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.22 by ($0.12). The business had revenue of $247.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $253.03 million. Essent Group had a return on equity of 12.97% and a net margin of 46.59%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.49 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Essent Group Ltd. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 19th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 10th will be given a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 9th. Essent Group’s payout ratio is presently 11.31%.

In other news, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.09, for a total transaction of $230,450.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 211,412 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,743,979.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Lawrence E. Mcalee, Jr. sold 5,447 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.72, for a total value of $238,142.84. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 184,202 shares in the company, valued at $8,053,311.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 28,820 shares of company stock worth $1,309,743. Insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

ESNT has been the subject of a number of research reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Essent Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $52.00 price target for the company. in a report on Tuesday, January 19th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price target on Essent Group from $39.00 to $50.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 10th. BTIG Research boosted their price target on Essent Group from $51.00 to $58.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 17th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, February 11th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Essent Group from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, November 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.75.

Essent Group Company Profile

Essent Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides private mortgage insurance and reinsurance for mortgages secured by residential properties located in the United States. Its mortgage insurance products include primary, pool, and master policy. The company also provides information technology maintenance and development services; customer support-related services; and contract underwriting services.

Further Reading: CD Ladder

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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