Primerica, Inc. (NYSE:PRI) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

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Primerica, Inc. (NYSE:PRI) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 751,500 shares, an increase of 15.5% from the April 30th total of 650,800 shares. Currently, 1.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 196,700 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.8 days.

Several research firms recently commented on PRI. Credit Suisse Group increased their target price on shares of Primerica from $135.00 to $148.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, March 18th. Citigroup set a $108.00 target price on shares of Primerica and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, May 23rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $123.60.

In other news, President Peter W. Schneider sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.02, for a total transaction of $230,040.00. Following the sale, the president now owns 32,790 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,771,505.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Glenn J. Williams sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.84, for a total transaction of $365,520.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 72,620 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,848,020.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 10,000 shares of company stock worth $1,210,060. Corporate insiders own 0.84% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. TD Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Primerica by 2.5% in the 4th quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,532 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $443,000 after acquiring an additional 110 shares in the last quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP acquired a new position in Primerica during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $378,000. Enlightenment Research LLC acquired a new position in Primerica during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $39,000. Comerica Bank boosted its position in Primerica by 1.4% during the 4th quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 28,558 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,107,000 after purchasing an additional 405 shares during the period. Finally, Mackenzie Financial Corp acquired a new position in Primerica during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $7,076,000. 89.70% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of PRI stock traded down $0.72 on Wednesday, hitting $121.32. 162,379 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 199,702. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.04, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.57. Primerica has a one year low of $90.28 and a one year high of $132.17. The firm has a market cap of $5.22 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.55 and a beta of 1.46.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The financial services provider reported $1.74 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.71 by $0.03. Primerica had a net margin of 17.44% and a return on equity of 22.89%. The company had revenue of $494.99 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $498.57 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.47 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that Primerica will post 8.13 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 14th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 22nd were issued a dividend of $0.34 per share. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, May 21st. Primerica’s dividend payout ratio is currently 18.55%.

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Primerica Company Profile

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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