Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Torchmark’s niche market focus, steady capital deployment and strong operating fundamentals should drive long-term growth. 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 now expects net operating income between $4.70 per share and $4.80 per share in 2017 banking on better than expected underwriting income and an increase in investment income, life underwriting income to increase between 2% and 4% while health underwriting income to increase between 1% and 3%. The company has also seen estimates moving north in the last 60 days. However, higher administrative expenses, pension costs and investments in IT systems will likely be a drag on Torchmark’s earnings in the near term. Shares of Torchmark also underperformed the industry year to date.”

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on TMK. BidaskClub lowered shares of Torchmark Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 19th. Barclays PLC boosted their target price on shares of Torchmark Corporation from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $78.00 price target on shares of Torchmark Corporation in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine raised Torchmark Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $73.00.

Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK) traded up 1.29% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $77.05. 139,933 shares of the stock traded hands. Torchmark Corporation has a 12-month low of $62.86 and a 12-month high of $79.90. The company’s 50-day moving average is $77.82 and its 200 day moving average is $76.97. The firm has a market cap of $8.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.57 and a beta of 0.98.

Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The insurance provider reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17 by $0.02. Torchmark Corporation had a net margin of 13.96% and a return on equity of 11.55%. The company had revenue of $1.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.03 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.11 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Torchmark Corporation will post $4.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, VP Arvelia Bowie sold 16,875 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.45, for a total transaction of $1,323,843.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 17,941 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,407,471.45. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Charles E. Adair sold 9,244 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.89, for a total transaction of $729,259.16. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,613 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,626,159.57. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 137,821 shares of company stock valued at $10,837,593. Corporate insiders own 3.79% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its holdings in shares of Torchmark Corporation by 2.9% during the 1st quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 2,427 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $187,000 after purchasing an additional 69 shares during the period. Global X Management Co. LLC grew its holdings in shares of Torchmark Corporation by 539.3% during the 1st quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 2,506 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $193,000 after purchasing an additional 2,114 shares during the period. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Torchmark Corporation during the 1st quarter worth about $205,000. Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Torchmark Corporation during the 1st quarter worth about $206,000. Finally, Warren Averett Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Torchmark Corporation during the 1st quarter worth about $207,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.94% of the company’s stock.

About Torchmark Corporation

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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Analyst Recommendations for Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK)

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