Primerica (NYSE:PRI) Upgraded at SunTrust Banks

SunTrust Banks upgraded shares of Primerica (NYSE:PRI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Monday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports.

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Primerica from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $153.00 target price on the stock in a report on Saturday, February 15th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Primerica from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, February 25th. Finally, William Blair upgraded shares of Primerica from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, February 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $130.50.

PRI stock opened at $80.85 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $3.32 billion, a PE ratio of 9.37 and a beta of 1.29. Primerica has a one year low of $61.20 and a one year high of $138.05. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $111.15 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $123.71. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a current ratio of 0.54.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 11th. The financial services provider reported $2.22 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.11 by $0.11. Primerica had a net margin of 17.85% and a return on equity of 22.52%. The firm had revenue of $530.94 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $526.19 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.01 earnings per share. On average, research analysts predict that Primerica will post 9.48 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 16th. Investors of record on Monday, February 24th were issued a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 21st. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.98%. This is a boost from Primerica’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. Primerica’s payout ratio is 18.98%.

Primerica announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, February 11th that authorizes the company to repurchase $300.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to buy up to 5.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, CFO Alison S. Rand sold 2,000 shares of Primerica stock in a transaction on Friday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.02, for a total value of $220,040.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 11,665 shares in the company, valued at $1,283,383.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, President Peter W. Schneider sold 3,000 shares of Primerica stock in a transaction on Friday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $109.82, for a total transaction of $329,460.00. Following the completion of the sale, the president now owns 24,313 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,670,053.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.84% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan lifted its position in Primerica by 1.2% during the fourth quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 7,770 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,014,000 after buying an additional 90 shares during the period. Point72 Asset Management L.P. raised its position in shares of Primerica by 20.0% in the 3rd quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 600 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $76,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. M&T Bank Corp raised its position in shares of Primerica by 2.1% in the 4th quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 5,369 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $700,000 after purchasing an additional 112 shares during the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Primerica by 1.6% in the 4th quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 8,193 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,070,000 after purchasing an additional 130 shares during the last quarter. Finally, GWM Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Primerica by 1.1% in the 4th quarter. GWM Advisors LLC now owns 16,547 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,160,000 after purchasing an additional 172 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.94% of the company’s stock.

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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