Primerica (NYSE:PRI) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Primerica (NYSE:PRI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $128.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

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. “

Separately, Citigroup set a $108.00 price target on shares of Primerica and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, May 23rd.

PRI stock opened at $111.57 on Tuesday. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $120.49 and a 200-day moving average price of $122.04. The company has a market capitalization of $4.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.22 and a beta of 1.39. Primerica has a 52-week low of $90.28 and a 52-week high of $132.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.04, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.55.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The financial services provider reported $2.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.14 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $504.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $503.84 million. Primerica had a net margin of 17.66% and a return on equity of 22.77%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.93 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Primerica will post 8.2 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 13th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.34 per share. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.22%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 20th. Primerica’s payout ratio is currently 18.55%.

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 completion of the transaction, the president now owns 32,790 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,771,505.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.84% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Primerica by 9.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,904,716 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $599,112,000 after purchasing an additional 438,672 shares in the last quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Primerica by 1.0% in the first quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 3,951,542 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $482,683,000 after purchasing an additional 38,742 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Primerica by 3.9% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 787,252 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $94,430,000 after purchasing an additional 29,212 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in Primerica by 1.4% in the first quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 700,999 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $85,626,000 after purchasing an additional 9,755 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Primerica by 11.1% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 500,512 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $48,905,000 after purchasing an additional 49,999 shares in the last quarter. 91.54% 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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