Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) Shares Acquired by Lazard Asset Management LLC

Lazard Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNTGet Rating) by 90.2% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 3,172 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,504 shares during the quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Essent Group were worth $123,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the business. Capital World Investors raised its holdings in Essent Group by 10.2% in the first quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 8,781,249 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $361,875,000 after acquiring an additional 815,259 shares in the last quarter. Cooke & Bieler LP raised its holdings in Essent Group by 17.7% in the first quarter. Cooke & Bieler LP now owns 4,133,095 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $170,325,000 after acquiring an additional 620,762 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Essent Group by 4.0% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,590,130 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $436,419,000 after acquiring an additional 411,585 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its holdings in Essent Group by 7.0% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,375,800 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $180,327,000 after acquiring an additional 286,764 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. acquired a new stake in Essent Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $9,792,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.59% of the company’s stock.

Essent Group Trading Up 2.7 %

Shares of ESNT opened at $39.44 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $4.25 billion, a PE ratio of 4.94, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.48 and a beta of 1.20. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $37.44 and its 200-day simple moving average is $39.51. Essent Group Ltd. has a 12-month low of $34.27 and a 12-month high of $50.17.

Essent Group Increases Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 1st will be given a dividend of $0.23 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 30th. This is a positive change from Essent Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.33%. Essent Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 11.03%.

Analyst Ratings Changes

Several analysts recently weighed in on the stock. TheStreet cut shares of Essent Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, October 20th. Barclays dropped their price target on shares of Essent Group from $72.00 to $54.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 13th. StockNews.com lowered shares of Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, November 7th. BTIG Research dropped their price target on shares of Essent Group from $54.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Friday, November 4th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada dropped their price target on shares of Essent Group from $53.00 to $46.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, Essent Group currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $48.75.

Insider Transactions at Essent Group

In other news, Director Aditya Dutt sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.23, for a total transaction of $235,380.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 23,023 shares in the company, valued at $903,192.29. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

Essent Group Profile

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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.

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

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