Torchmark (NYSE:TMK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Torchmark have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. Torchmark’s niche market focus, steady capital deployment and strong operating fundamentals should drive long-term growth. The insurer estimates life and health sales growth in distribution channels. Also, a strong capital position and capital management are key positives. Torchmark expects net operating income between $5.90 and $6.10 per share in 2018. Life underwriting income is to grow 4-5% while health underwriting income to rise in the range of 3-5%. However, higher administrative expenses (6.5% of premium in 2018), pension costs and investments in IT systems are likely be a drag on Torchmark’s earnings in the near term. With respect to quarterly results, Torchmark’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved year over year on higher premiums from the Life and Health segments.”
TMK has been the subject of several other reports. ValuEngine raised shares of Torchmark from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. UBS Group started coverage on shares of Torchmark in a report on Friday, March 2nd. They set a “sell” rating and a $83.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $78.00 price objective on shares of Torchmark and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $83.14.
Torchmark (NYSE:TMK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 7th. The insurance provider reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.23 by $0.01. Torchmark had a net margin of 34.99% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The firm had revenue of $1.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.04 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.15 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that Torchmark will post 6.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, VP Michael Clay Majors sold 21,900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.70, for a total transaction of $1,920,630.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 11,921 shares in the company, valued at $1,045,471.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP James Matthew Darden sold 12,750 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.89, for a total transaction of $1,158,847.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 16,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,499,685. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 132,150 shares of company stock valued at $11,766,713 over the last three months. 3.79% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in TMK. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. grew its position in Torchmark by 9.0% during the third quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 17,448 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,397,000 after buying an additional 1,446 shares during the period. State of Wisconsin Investment Board grew its position in Torchmark by 6.7% during the third quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 88,891 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $7,119,000 after buying an additional 5,548 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank grew its position in Torchmark by 0.5% during the third quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 409,928 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $32,831,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. grew its position in Torchmark by 13.9% during the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 51,129 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $4,095,000 after buying an additional 6,223 shares during the period. Finally, Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. grew its position in Torchmark by 198.6% during the third quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 110,549 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $8,854,000 after buying an additional 73,523 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.74% of the company’s stock.
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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