Zacks Investment Research Lowers ProAssurance (PRA) to Hold

ProAssurance (NYSE:PRA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “ProAssurance’s core business has been witnessing substantial improvement over the past few quarters. The company has significantly achieved inorganic growth via successful acquisitions and integration of companies. Its top line has also remained strong consistently on the back of solid premium income. Although, the shares have underperformed the industry in a year's time, its solid fundamentals and other positives are expected to favor the stock going forward. Volatility in premium retention in its physician business has impacted its margins adversely. Growing expenses also continue to weigh on the bottom line. Its declining investment income has been affecting the top line.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on PRA. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 price objective on shares of ProAssurance in a research report on Wednesday, December 6th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of ProAssurance in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $59.50.

ProAssurance (NYSE:PRA) traded up $0.60 during trading on Monday, reaching $55.80. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 215,641 shares, compared to its average volume of 261,250. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a quick ratio of 0.40 and a current ratio of 0.40. The company has a market cap of $2,980.00, a PE ratio of 20.67 and a beta of 0.58. ProAssurance has a fifty-two week low of $50.70 and a fifty-two week high of $63.45.

ProAssurance (NYSE:PRA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 6th. The insurance provider reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $228.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $215.12 million. ProAssurance had a return on equity of 6.75% and a net margin of 16.18%. The business’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.46 EPS. equities analysts forecast that ProAssurance will post 2.09 EPS for the current year.

In other ProAssurance news, CEO William Stancil Starnes sold 25,896 shares of ProAssurance stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.01, for a total transaction of $1,424,538.96. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 277,772 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,280,237.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 39,074 shares of company stock worth $2,149,329. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of ProAssurance by 2.0% in the 4th quarter. Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP now owns 78,580 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,491,000 after purchasing an additional 1,520 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its position in shares of ProAssurance by 29.7% in the 4th quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 13,740 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $785,000 after purchasing an additional 3,150 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of ProAssurance by 7.4% in the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 305,163 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $17,441,000 after purchasing an additional 21,009 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of ProAssurance by 25.2% in the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 304,427 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $17,398,000 after purchasing an additional 61,322 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Louisiana State Employees Retirement System boosted its position in shares of ProAssurance by 6.5% in the 4th quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 23,000 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,314,000 after purchasing an additional 1,400 shares in the last quarter. 80.29% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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ProAssurance Company Profile

ProAssurance Corporation (ProAssurance) is a holding company for property and casualty insurance companies. The Company provides professional liability insurance for healthcare professionals and facilities, professional liability insurance for attorneys, liability insurance for medical technology and life sciences risks, and workers’ compensation insurance.

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