Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $87.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.98% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Torchmark’s niche market focus, steady capital deployment and strong operating fundamentals should drive long-term growth and thus drive shares higher. The life insurer estimates life and health sales growth in distribution channels. Also, a strong capital position and robust capital management are key positives. Torchmark expects net operating income between $4.63 per share and $4.77 per share in 2017, life underwriting income to increase between 1% and 3% while health underwriting income to stay flat in 2017. However, higher administrative expenses, pension costs and investments in IT systems will likely be a drag on Torchmark’s earnings in the near term. Though shares of Torchmark underperformed the Zacks categorized Life Insurance industry year to date, the life insurer witnessed its 2017 and 2018 estimates moving north over the last 60 days.”

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on TMK. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $75.00 target price on shares of Torchmark Corporation in a report on Friday, May 26th. BidaskClub raised shares of Torchmark Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Torchmark Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $67.67.

Analyst Recommendations for Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK)

Shares of Torchmark Corporation (NYSE TMK) traded up 0.62% during trading on Monday, reaching $77.72. The company had a trading volume of 156,333 shares. The company has a market cap of $9.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.89 and a beta of 1.00. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $75.90 and a 200 day moving average price of $75.49. Torchmark Corporation has a 12 month low of $57.49 and a 12 month high of $79.53.

Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 19th. The insurance provider reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.02 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.01 billion. Torchmark Corporation had a net margin of 14.04% and a return on equity of 11.56%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.10 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Torchmark Corporation will post $4.70 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 5th will be paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 30th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.77%. Torchmark Corporation’s payout ratio is presently 13.02%.

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In other Torchmark Corporation news, Chairman Gary L. Coleman sold 37,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.93, for a total transaction of $2,847,375.00. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 666,875 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $50,635,818.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Steven John Dichiaro sold 4,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.08, for a total transaction of $337,860.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 12,860 shares in the company, valued at approximately $965,528.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 72,750 shares of company stock worth $5,555,033. Insiders own 3.79% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Creative Planning boosted its stake in Torchmark Corporation by 0.3% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 7,594 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $585,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Torchmark Corporation by 0.3% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 15,134 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,166,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. boosted its stake in Torchmark Corporation by 2.9% in the first quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 2,427 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $187,000 after buying an additional 69 shares during the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Torchmark Corporation by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 8,826 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $651,000 after buying an additional 95 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. boosted its stake in Torchmark Corporation by 3.3% in the first quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 3,006 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $217,000 after buying an additional 96 shares during the last quarter. 74.82% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Torchmark Corporation Company Profile

Torchmark Corporation (Torchmark) is an insurance holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of life and health insurance products and annuities to a base of customers. The Company’s segments include life insurance, health insurance, annuities and investment. The life insurance segment includes traditional and interest-sensitive whole life insurance as well as term life insurance.

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