Torchmark (NYSE:TMK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Torchmark have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. Torchmark’s niche market focus, steady capital deployment and strong operating fundamentals should drive long-term growth. The insurer estimates life and health sales growth in distribution channels. Also, a strong capital position and capital management are key positives. Torchmark expects net operating income between $5.90 and $6.10 per share in 2018. Life underwriting income is to grow 4-5% while health underwriting income to rise in the range of 3-5%. However, higher administrative expenses (6.5% of premium in 2018), pension costs and investments in IT systems are likely be a drag on Torchmark’s earnings in the near term. With respect to quarterly results, Torchmark’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved year over year on higher premiums from the Life and Health segments.”
A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. UBS Group assumed coverage on shares of Torchmark in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. They issued a “sell” rating and a $83.00 target price on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co set a $78.00 target price on shares of Torchmark and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Torchmark from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $83.14.
Torchmark (NYSE:TMK) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The insurance provider reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.23 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $1.06 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.04 billion. Torchmark had a net margin of 34.99% and a return on equity of 10.81%. Torchmark’s quarterly revenue was up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.15 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Torchmark will post 6.03 EPS for the current year.
In other Torchmark news, VP Michael Clay Majors sold 21,900 shares of Torchmark stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.70, for a total transaction of $1,920,630.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 11,921 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,045,471.70. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Roger C. Smith sold 30,000 shares of Torchmark stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.64, for a total transaction of $2,719,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 65,685 shares in the company, valued at $5,953,688.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 132,150 shares of company stock worth $11,766,713 over the last three months. Insiders own 3.79% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Torchmark by 33.3% in the fourth quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,400 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $218,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares during the last quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Torchmark by 0.4% in the third quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 177,891 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $14,245,000 after purchasing an additional 625 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR grew its holdings in shares of Torchmark by 3.0% in the third quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 22,299 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,786,000 after purchasing an additional 644 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC grew its holdings in shares of Torchmark by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 48,385 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,389,000 after purchasing an additional 677 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS grew its holdings in shares of Torchmark by 8.8% in the third quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 8,798 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $705,000 after purchasing an additional 715 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.74% of the company’s stock.
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Torchmark Corporation (Torchmark) is an insurance holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of life and health insurance products and annuities to a base of customers. The Company’s segments include life insurance, health insurance, annuities and investment. The life insurance segment includes traditional and interest-sensitive whole life insurance as well as term life insurance.
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