Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Primerica Inc. (NYSE:PRI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Saturday. They currently have $77.00 target price on the stock.

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. “

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Wells Fargo & Co. began coverage on shares of Primerica in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. They set a market perform rating on the stock. SunTrust Banks Inc. set a $83.00 price target on shares of Primerica and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Primerica has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $73.33.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) opened at 68.80 on Friday. Primerica has a 52-week low of $37.09 and a 52-week high of $70.10. The company has a 50-day moving average of $55.57 and a 200 day moving average of $54.97. The company has a market cap of $3.16 billion, a PE ratio of 15.87 and a beta of 1.02.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 9th. The company reported $1.22 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.09. Primerica had a net margin of 14.22% and a return on equity of 17.95%. The business had revenue of $383.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $378.67 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.98 EPS. Primerica’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Primerica will post $4.41 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Investors of record on Friday, November 18th will be paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 16th. Primerica’s payout ratio is 16.59%.

In related news, Director Joel M. Babbit sold 1,406 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.31, for a total value of $80,577.86. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,915 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $109,748.65. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider William A. Kelly sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.25, for a total transaction of $82,875.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 22,130 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,222,682.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.24% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Primerica by 498.6% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,217,490 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,593,000 after buying an additional 1,847,026 shares during the last quarter. Cantillon Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Primerica during the second quarter valued at about $63,579,000. Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc. increased its position in Primerica by 31.2% in the second quarter. Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc. now owns 3,780,842 shares of the company’s stock valued at $216,415,000 after buying an additional 898,291 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Primerica by 14.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,173,713 shares of the company’s stock valued at $238,904,000 after buying an additional 526,902 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC increased its position in Primerica by 12.6% in the third quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 3,945,589 shares of the company’s stock valued at $209,235,000 after buying an additional 443,030 shares during the last quarter.

About Primerica

Primerica Inc (Primerica) distributes financial products to middle-income households. The Company operates through three segments. 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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