Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT – Get Rating) saw a significant decrease in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,780,000 shares, a decrease of 7.8% from the August 15th total of 1,930,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 454,800 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.9 days. Approximately 1.7% of the shares of the company are sold short.
In other news, Director Aditya Dutt sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.95, for a total value of $251,700.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 29,023 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,217,514.85. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 2.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Institutional Investors Weigh In On Essent Group
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Essent Group by 73.7% in the 4th quarter. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. now owns 554 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $25,000 after acquiring an additional 235 shares during the last quarter. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Essent Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $50,000. Lazard Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Essent Group by 43.9% in the 1st quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 1,668 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $68,000 after acquiring an additional 509 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Essent Group in the 1st quarter valued at $74,000. Finally, Sit Investment Associates Inc. bought a new position in shares of Essent Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $112,000. 92.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Essent Group Price Performance
Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT – Get Rating) last released its earnings results on Friday, August 5th. The financial services provider reported $2.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.58 by $0.58. Essent Group had a return on equity of 21.13% and a net margin of 85.02%. The firm had revenue of $244.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $244.29 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.42 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Essent Group will post 7.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Essent Group Increases Dividend
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 1st were paid a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This is a boost from Essent Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.24%. Essent Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 10.78%.
Wall Street Analyst Weigh In
Several research firms have recently commented on ESNT. BTIG Research decreased their target price on Essent Group to $54.00 in a research report on Monday, August 15th. StockNews.com raised Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Essent Group currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $54.00.
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. Its mortgage insurance products include primary, pool, and master policy. The company also provides information technology maintenance and development services; customer support-related services; underwriting consulting; and contract underwriting services.
- Get a free copy of the StockNews.com research report on Essent Group (ESNT)
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