Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Primerica (NYSE:PRI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning. They currently have $132.00 target price on the financial services provider’s 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. “

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on PRI. Citigroup downgraded Primerica from a neutral rating to a sell rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $100.00 to $108.00 in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on Primerica to $118.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. ValuEngine upgraded Primerica from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, July 28th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a hold rating and issued a $112.00 target price on shares of Primerica in a research note on Thursday, July 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Primerica currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $114.40.

Shares of NYSE PRI traded up $1.43 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $117.46. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 136,786 shares, compared to its average volume of 211,040. Primerica has a 12-month low of $90.05 and a 12-month high of $128.35. The company has a market capitalization of $4.95 billion, a PE ratio of 21.28 and a beta of 1.16.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The financial services provider reported $1.93 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.86 by $0.07. Primerica had a return on equity of 21.72% and a net margin of 21.88%. The firm had revenue of $484.78 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $478.87 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.46 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 13.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts expect that Primerica will post 7.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 14th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 20th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 19th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.85%. Primerica’s payout ratio is 18.12%.

In related news, insider William A. Kelly sold 856 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $109.93, for a total value of $94,100.08. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 14,416 shares in the company, valued at $1,584,750.88. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Gregory C. Pitts sold 2,449 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.28, for a total value of $299,463.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 12,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,541,828.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 14,712 shares of company stock worth $1,790,176. 0.89% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Primerica by 22.5% during the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 653,083 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $78,729,000 after acquiring an additional 120,108 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans lifted its position in shares of Primerica by 4.2% during the third quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 267,843 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $32,289,000 after acquiring an additional 10,743 shares in the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Primerica by 17.4% during the third quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 55,771 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,723,000 after acquiring an additional 8,246 shares in the last quarter. Man Group plc lifted its position in shares of Primerica by 39.8% during the third quarter. Man Group plc now owns 128,371 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $15,475,000 after acquiring an additional 36,525 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Primerica by 12.5% during the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 15,430 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,860,000 after acquiring an additional 1,720 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.22% of the company’s stock.

About Primerica

Primerica, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, distributes financial products to middle income households in the United States and Canada. The company operates in three segments: Term Life Insurance; Investment and Savings Products; and Corporate and Other Distributed Products. It underwrites individual term life insurance products.

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