Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. Acquires New Stake in Essent Group Ltd (ESNT)

Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund acquired 71,279 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $2,578,000. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. owned 0.08% of Essent Group at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Sei Investments Co. raised its stake in Essent Group by 2.6% in the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 2,909 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in Essent Group by 14.0% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,924 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 360 shares during the period. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd purchased a new stake in Essent Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $114,000. James Investment Research Inc. purchased a new stake in Essent Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $144,000. Finally, Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Essent Group during the third quarter valued at approximately $122,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.37% of the company’s stock.

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

Shares of Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) traded down 1.02% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $35.83. 584,254 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.35 billion, a PE ratio of 13.73 and a beta of 1.19. The company’s 50-day moving average is $37.01 and its 200 day moving average is $33.91. Essent Group Ltd has a 52 week low of $19.59 and a 52 week high of $39.50.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, May 5th. The financial services provider reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.03. Essent Group had a net margin of 48.58% and a return on equity of 17.85%. The firm had revenue of $127.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $126.70 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.52 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 24.5% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Essent Group Ltd will post $2.93 earnings per share for the current year.

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Several research firms have commented on ESNT. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on shares of Essent Group from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 10th. Bank of America Corp upgraded shares of Essent Group from an “underperform” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $38.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Tuesday, May 9th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $40.00 price objective on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG began coverage on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Friday, January 20th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $38.00 price objective for the company. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $38.29.

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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