Primerica Inc. (NYSE:PRI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

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. “

PRI has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Wells Fargo & Co. began coverage on shares of Primerica in a report on Thursday, September 22nd. They issued a “market perform” rating for the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods downgraded shares of Primerica from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $58.00 to $60.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.50.

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Shares of Primerica (NYSE:PRI) opened at 54.50 on Wednesday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $55.77 and a 200-day moving average price of $53.37. The stock has a market cap of $2.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.30 and a beta of 0.93. Primerica has a one year low of $37.09 and a one year high of $59.34.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 8th. The company reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.13. The company earned $379.24 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $370.76 million. Primerica had a net margin of 13.90% and a return on equity of 17.32%. Primerica’s quarterly revenue was up 8.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.93 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Primerica will post $4.41 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 24th were issued a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.32%. This is an increase from Primerica’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. Primerica’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 17.56%.

In other news, insider William A. Kelly sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.93, for a total transaction of $79,395.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 26,630 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,409,525.90. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Jeffrey S. Fendler sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.02, for a total transaction of $56,020.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 32,988 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,847,987.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.24% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in PRI. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of Primerica by 2.0% in the third quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 16,877 shares of the company’s stock worth $895,000 after buying an additional 324 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Primerica by 13.9% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 434,377 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,864,000 after buying an additional 53,033 shares in the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Primerica during the second quarter worth about $1,228,000. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in Primerica by 267.6% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 151,529 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,673,000 after buying an additional 110,313 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lebenthal Holdings LLC bought a new position in Primerica during the second quarter worth $2,609,000.

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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