Primerica, Inc. (PRI) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Primerica, Inc. (NYSE:PRI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday, May 12th.

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 research analysts have also recently commented on PRI. Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage on Primerica in a research note on Thursday, January 26th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $76.00 price target on the stock. SunTrust Banks, Inc. set a $95.00 price objective on Primerica and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, February 11th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $78.00 price objective on Primerica and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, March 17th. Wells Fargo & Company cut Primerica from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 20th. Finally, William Blair cut Primerica from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, April 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. Primerica presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $83.25.

Analyst Recommendations for Primerica (NYSE:PRI)

Primerica (PRI) traded up 0.47% on Friday, reaching $75.30. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 423,873 shares. Primerica has a 52 week low of $49.69 and a 52 week high of $86.45. The company has a 50 day moving average of $77.07 and a 200 day moving average of $77.11. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.74 and a beta of 1.17.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 9th. The financial services provider reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.15 by $0.04. Primerica had a return on equity of 18.22% and a net margin of 14.49%. The firm had revenue of $405.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $401.58 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.93 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Primerica will post $5.23 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 19th were paid a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.01%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 17th. Primerica’s payout ratio is currently 15.93%.

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In related news, VP Alison S. Rand sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.55, for a total value of $143,100.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 37,385 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,674,896.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider William A. Kelly sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.29, for a total value of $205,725.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 20,486 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,685,792.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.24% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Primerica by 6.5% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,071,986 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $416,917,000 after buying an additional 307,797 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Primerica by 22,346.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,448,197 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $365,642,000 after buying an additional 4,428,380 shares during the period. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC raised its position in Primerica by 1.0% in the first quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 3,372,260 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $277,200,000 after buying an additional 33,814 shares during the period. Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. raised its position in Primerica by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. now owns 1,815,541 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $125,545,000 after buying an additional 62,183 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp raised its position in Primerica by 2.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,758,135 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $144,519,000 after buying an additional 46,400 shares during the period. 97.52% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Primerica

Primerica Inc (Primerica) is a distributor of financial products to middle-income households in the United States and Canada. The Company operates through three segments: Term Life Insurance, Investment and Savings Products, and Corporate and Other Distributed Products. The Term Life Insurance segment includes underwriting profits on its in-force book of term life insurance policies, net of reinsurance, which are underwritten by its life insurance company subsidiaries.

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