Zacks Investment Research Lowers Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) to Hold
Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE:PRU) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Prudential remains well poised for growth on the back of its high performing asset management business, widespread international operations and deeper reach in the pension risk transfer market. It has been growing its pension risk transfer business and has more than $75 billion in pension account values. It strives to build its leadership position in the pension risk transfer market which has great potential and is an excellent fit for its group annuity management skills. Expanded international presence, mainly in Japan, Korea and China, provides it with better organic growth opportunities than peers. Also, a strong balance sheet and efficient capital management are tailwinds. However, exposure to low interest rates, unfavorable currency impact and regulatory control remain headwinds. With respect to quarterly results, its third-quarter 2016 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also improved year over year, mainly due to higher revenues.”
Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on PRU. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded Prudential Financial from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $80.00 to $93.00 in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. Wells Fargo & Co. assumed coverage on Prudential Financial in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Credit Suisse Group AG assumed coverage on Prudential Financial in a research report on Friday, October 7th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $89.00 target price for the company. FBR & Co cut Prudential Financial from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $86.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, October 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Bank of America Corp. upgraded Prudential Financial from an “underperform” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, November 18th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $91.60.
Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) traded down 0.75% during trading on Monday, reaching $100.03. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,163,882 shares. The company has a market cap of $43.01 billion, a PE ratio of 9.43 and a beta of 1.68. Prudential Financial has a 52-week low of $57.19 and a 52-week high of $101.96. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $89.55 and a 200 day moving average price of $79.73.
Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $2.66 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.49 by $0.17. Prudential Financial had a return on equity of 7.73% and a net margin of 8.92%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $2.40 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Prudential Financial will post $8.99 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 22nd will be issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 18th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.78%. Prudential Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.32%.
In other Prudential Financial news, insider Scott Sleyster sold 9,379 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.06, for a total transaction of $797,777.74. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 34,185 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,907,776.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Sharon C. Taylor sold 85,490 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.99, for a total value of $7,265,795.10. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 77,221 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,563,012.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Prudential Financial by 0.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 28,609,632 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,041,011,000 after buying an additional 242,859 shares during the period. Cohen & Steers Inc. bought a new stake in Prudential Financial during the second quarter valued at $718,824,000. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake in Prudential Financial by 1.0% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 9,590,228 shares of the company’s stock valued at $684,166,000 after buying an additional 90,284 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD increased its stake in Prudential Financial by 1.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 5,411,410 shares of the company’s stock valued at $386,051,000 after buying an additional 92,365 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital Research Global Investors bought a new stake in Prudential Financial during the third quarter valued at $425,473,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 60.46% of the company’s stock.
Prudential Financial Company Profile
Prudential Financial, Inc is a financial services company. The Company, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides a range of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities and investment management. The Company’s divisions include U.S. Retirement Solutions and Investment Management Division; U.S.
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