Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Torchmark’s niche market focus, steady capital deployment and strong operating fundamentals should drive long-term growth. It estimates life and health sales growth in distribution channels. Also, a strong capital position and robust capital management are key positives. It expects 2016 life-underwriting margin to increase 1%–2% over 2015 while for health the same is estimated to 1-2%. Concurrently, Torchmark expects 2016 net operating income between $4.40 and $4.50 per share, an 80% increase over 2015 at the midpoint. Notably, it delivered positive surprises in three of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 0.7%. However, higher administrative expenses, pension costs and investments in IT systems will likely be a drag on earnings in the near term. Also, low interest rate environment will continue to impact investment income. The Zacks Consensus estimate saw no estimate revisions, for 2016 and 2017, over the last 60 days.”
A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on TMK. Citigroup Inc. increased their price objective on Torchmark Corp. from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Royal Bank Of Canada increased their price objective on Torchmark Corp. from $53.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research report on Monday, August 1st. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised Torchmark Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $54.00 to $60.00 in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed an “underperform” rating on shares of Torchmark Corp. in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on Torchmark Corp. from $56.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have given a hold rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $58.36.
Shares of Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK) traded up 0.25% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $63.93. The stock had a trading volume of 218,871 shares. The company has a market cap of $7.66 billion, a PE ratio of 14.70 and a beta of 1.06. Torchmark Corp. has a 52-week low of $48.47 and a 52-week high of $65.60. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $63.90 and a 200-day moving average price of $60.28.
Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.09 by $0.02. The firm earned $992 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $979.43 million. Torchmark Corp. had a return on equity of 12.19% and a net margin of 13.85%. The business’s revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.05 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Torchmark Corp. will post $4.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Friday, October 7th will be paid a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. Torchmark Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 12.84%.
In other Torchmark Corp. news, CFO Frank M. Svoboda sold 21,250 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.94, for a total transaction of $1,316,225.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 92,004 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,698,727.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Michael Clay Majors sold 5,075 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.89, for a total value of $314,091.75. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 9,462 shares in the company, valued at approximately $585,603.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.96% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Rafferty Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Torchmark Corp. by 46.6% in the first quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC now owns 16,629 shares of the company’s stock worth $901,000 after buying an additional 5,284 shares during the period. BB&T Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Torchmark Corp. during the first quarter worth approximately $1,764,000. Willis Investment Counsel boosted its stake in shares of Torchmark Corp. by 0.8% in the first quarter. Willis Investment Counsel now owns 141,607 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,669,000 after buying an additional 1,080 shares during the period. Credit Agricole S A boosted its stake in shares of Torchmark Corp. by 3.4% in the first quarter. Credit Agricole S A now owns 25,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,378,000 after buying an additional 842 shares during the period. Finally, Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Torchmark Corp. during the first quarter worth approximately $359,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.52% of the company’s stock.
Torchmark Corp. Company Profile
Torchmark Corporation is an insurance holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of life and health insurance products and annuities to a broad base of customers. The Company’s segments include life insurance, health insurance, annuities and investment. The life insurance segment offers whole-life insurance and term life insurance.
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