William Blair upgraded shares of Primerica (NYSE:PRI) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning, Benzinga reports.

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on PRI. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Primerica from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, January 9th. ValuEngine raised Primerica from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, February 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Primerica has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $128.00.

Shares of Primerica stock traded down $0.05 on Thursday, hitting $136.84. The stock had a trading volume of 350,264 shares, compared to its average volume of 177,145. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03. Primerica has a one year low of $108.75 and a one year high of $138.05. The stock has a market cap of $5.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.33 and a beta of 1.34. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $126.99 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $125.66.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 11th. The financial services provider reported $2.22 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.11 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $530.94 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $526.19 million. Primerica had a net margin of 17.90% and a return on equity of 22.88%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $2.01 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Primerica will post 8.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 16th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 24th will be given a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 21st. This is a positive change from Primerica’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. Primerica’s payout ratio is currently 18.55%.

Primerica declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, February 11th that authorizes the company to repurchase $300.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to buy up to 5.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Primerica news, CFO Alison S. Rand sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $134.01, for a total value of $268,020.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 15,337 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,055,311.37. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, President Peter W. Schneider sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.84, for a total value of $401,520.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now directly owns 26,790 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,585,573.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.84% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of PRI. FMR LLC raised its position in Primerica by 6.1% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,494,788 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $325,719,000 after buying an additional 144,495 shares during the last quarter. Man Group plc raised its position in Primerica by 57.7% in the 3rd quarter. Man Group plc now owns 307,676 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $39,146,000 after buying an additional 112,554 shares during the last quarter. FIL Ltd raised its position in Primerica by 33.5% in the 4th quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 400,503 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $52,290,000 after buying an additional 100,503 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its position in Primerica by 99.5% in the 4th quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 170,824 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $22,303,000 after buying an additional 85,205 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AMI Asset Management Corp purchased a new position in Primerica in the 3rd quarter worth about $9,915,000. 88.92% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Primerica

Primerica, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides 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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