ProAssurance Co. (PRA) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

ProAssurance Co. (NYSE:PRA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, May 10th. The brokerage presently has a $66.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 13.21% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “ProAssurance’s earnings per share of $0.62 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13% and also improved 32% year over year on higher revenues. Year to date, the ProAssurance stock has gained 5.7%, outperforming the Zacks categorized Property & Casualty insurance industry’s increase of only 1.6%. The company’s robust inorganic growth and strong capital position have enabled it to boost investors’ return by undertaking share buybacks as well as paying quarterly dividends and special dividends. Prudent operating and financial leverage, responsible pricing, loss reserve practice and conservative investments in assets will likely drive growth. However the company’s exposure to persistently low interest rate as well as reduced retention rates raises concern. Volatility in premium retention in its physician business are other headwinds.”

PRA has been the subject of several other reports. JMP Securities increased their price target on shares of ProAssurance from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, January 23rd. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of ProAssurance in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th.

ProAssurance (NYSE:PRA) traded up 0.26% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $58.30. 105,272 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. ProAssurance has a 52-week low of $49.99 and a 52-week high of $63.53. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $60.10 and its 200-day moving average price is $57.73. The stock has a market cap of $3.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.00 and a beta of 0.46.

ProAssurance (NYSE:PRA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The insurance provider reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.08. ProAssurance had a net margin of 18.29% and a return on equity of 7.13%. The company had revenue of $223 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $211.53 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.46 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that ProAssurance will post $2.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of ProAssurance by 2.5% in the third quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,929 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 47 shares during the period. Assetmark Inc. increased its position in shares of ProAssurance by 1.1% in the first quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 1,779 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in shares of ProAssurance by 3.3% in the third quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,369 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 76 shares during the period. Elkfork Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of ProAssurance during the fourth quarter valued at $199,000. Finally, World Asset Management Inc acquired a new position in shares of ProAssurance during the first quarter valued at $204,000. 79.43% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

ProAssurance Company Profile

ProAssurance Corporation (ProAssurance) is a holding company for property and casualty insurance companies. The Company provides professional liability insurance for healthcare professionals and facilities, professional liability insurance for attorneys, liability insurance for medical technology and life sciences risks, and workers’ compensation insurance.

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