Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Torchmark Corp. (TMK) to Buy
Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $71.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 11.06% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Torchmark’s niche market focus, steady capital deployment and strong operating fundamentals should drive long-term growth. The company 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, the company 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.”
A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on TMK. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed an “underperform” rating on shares of Torchmark Corp. in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised shares of Torchmark Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $54.00 to $60.00 in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target on shares of Torchmark Corp. from $56.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price target on shares of Torchmark Corp. from $53.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Finally, RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and issued a $55.00 price target (up from $53.00) on shares of Torchmark Corp. in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Torchmark Corp. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $58.36.
Shares of Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK) opened at 63.93 on Tuesday. Torchmark Corp. has a 12 month low of $48.47 and a 12 month high of $65.60. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $63.73 and its 200-day moving average price is $60.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.70 and a beta of 1.08.
Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.02. Torchmark Corp. had a net margin of 13.85% and a return on equity of 12.19%. The business had revenue of $992 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $979.43 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.05 earnings per share. Torchmark Corp.’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Torchmark Corp. will post $4.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.88%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. Torchmark Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 12.84%.
In other Torchmark Corp. news, EVP Vern D. Herbel sold 88,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.87, for a total transaction of $5,452,293.75. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 85,630 shares in the company, valued at $5,297,928.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider John Henry Rogers, Jr. sold 875 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $56,901.25. Following the sale, the insider now owns 875 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $56,901.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 3.96% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Torchmark Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,914,289 shares of the company’s stock valued at $674,722,000 after buying an additional 150,220 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Torchmark Corp. by 21.4% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,299,373 shares of the company’s stock valued at $265,788,000 after buying an additional 757,907 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in Torchmark Corp. by 2.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 3,326,787 shares of the company’s stock valued at $180,179,000 after buying an additional 86,539 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners boosted its stake in Torchmark Corp. by 6.9% in the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 2,687,021 shares of the company’s stock valued at $166,112,000 after buying an additional 173,190 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec boosted its stake in Torchmark Corp. by 3.9% in the second quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 2,678,643 shares of the company’s stock valued at $165,594,000 after buying an additional 100,300 shares during the last quarter. 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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