Torchmark Corp. (TMK) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
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.”
Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed an underperform rating on shares of Torchmark Corp. in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. 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. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price target on Torchmark Corp. from $53.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an underperform rating in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target on Torchmark Corp. from $56.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised Torchmark Corp. from a sell rating to a neutral rating and increased their target price for the stock from $54.00 to $60.00 in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have issued a hold rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $58.36.
Shares of Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK) opened at 64.25 on Tuesday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $63.95 and a 200 day moving average of $60.34. The firm has a market cap of $7.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.78 and a beta of 1.06. Torchmark Corp. has a 52-week low of $48.47 and a 52-week high of $65.60.
Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $992 million for 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 firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.05 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Torchmark Corp. will post $4.45 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Friday, October 7th will be given a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. Torchmark Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 12.84%.
In related news, insider Bill Leavell sold 25,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.08, for a total transaction of $1,564,416.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 45,534 shares in the company, valued at $2,826,750.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider John Henry Rogers, Jr. sold 875 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total value of $56,901.25. Following the sale, the insider now owns 875 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $56,901.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.96% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in TMK. Williams Jones & Associates LLC acquired a new stake in Torchmark Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $227,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new position in Torchmark Corp. during the second quarter valued at $280,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new position in Torchmark Corp. during the second quarter valued at $590,000. Mason Street Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Torchmark Corp. during the second quarter valued at $934,000. Finally, Calvert Investment Management Inc. purchased a new position in Torchmark Corp. during the second quarter valued at $536,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.52% of the company’s stock.
About Torchmark Corp.
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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