Primerica (NYSE:PRI) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Primerica (NYSE:PRI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Primerica, Inc. provides financial products and services. It assists its clients in meeting their needs for term life insurance, which it underwrites, and mutual funds, variable annuities and other financial products, which it distributes primarily on behalf of third parties. The Company’s mission is to serve middle income families by helping them make informed financial decisions and providing them with a strategy and means to gain financial independence. The Company’s sales representatives use its proprietary financial needs analysis, or FNA, tool and an educational approach to demonstrate how its products can assist clients to provide financial protection for their families, save for their retirement and manage their debt. The Company’s clients are generally middle income consumers. Primerica also provides an entrepreneurial business opportunity for individuals to distribute its financial products. The Company is based in Duluth, Georgia. “

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. SunTrust Banks lifted their price objective on shares of Primerica from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 17th. TheStreet raised Primerica from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research note on Friday, May 22nd. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on Primerica from $128.00 to $159.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Monday, June 8th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Primerica from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, May 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $150.00.

Shares of NYSE PRI traded down $1.25 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $127.77. 2,360 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 144,996. Primerica has a 52 week low of $61.20 and a 52 week high of $138.05. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.16 billion, a PE ratio of 14.69 and a beta of 1.36. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $121.80 and its 200 day moving average price is $111.03.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 5th. The financial services provider reported $2.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.08 by $0.36. Primerica had a net margin of 17.29% and a return on equity of 23.12%. The company had revenue of $525.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $509.39 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.21 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Primerica will post 9.3 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 21st will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 20th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.25%. Primerica’s payout ratio is currently 18.98%.

In other news, CFO Alison S. Rand sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $113.77, for a total transaction of $227,540.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 16,962 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,929,766.74. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Glenn J. Williams sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.43, for a total transaction of $406,290.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 68,343 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,255,692.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 11,000 shares of company stock worth $1,381,880. Insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. First Mercantile Trust Co. grew its position in shares of Primerica by 216.9% in the 2nd quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 900 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 616 shares during the last quarter. Blue Square Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Primerica during the second quarter valued at approximately $106,000. Group One Trading L.P. purchased a new stake in Primerica in the first quarter worth $88,000. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale bought a new stake in Primerica in the second quarter valued at $159,000. Finally, AJO LP bought a new stake in Primerica in the second quarter valued at $188,000. 89.80% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Primerica

Primerica, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial products to middle income households in the United States and Canada. The company operates in three segments: Term Life Insurance; Investment and Savings Products; and Corporate and Other Distributed Products. It underwrites individual term life insurance products.

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