Torchmark Corporation (TMK) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors 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.”

TMK has been the subject of several other research reports. BidaskClub raised Torchmark Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. ValuEngine downgraded Torchmark Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $78.00 target price on shares of Torchmark Corporation in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Barclays PLC upped their target price on Torchmark Corporation from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $73.00.

Torchmark Corporation (TMK) traded up 0.72% during trading on Monday, reaching $77.39. The company had a trading volume of 10,091 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $77.82 and its 200-day moving average is $76.97. The company has a market capitalization of $9.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.65 and a beta of 0.98. Torchmark Corporation has a 12 month low of $62.86 and a 12 month high of $79.90.

Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The insurance provider reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.02. Torchmark Corporation had a return on equity of 11.55% and a net margin of 13.96%. The company had revenue of $1.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.03 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.11 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Torchmark Corporation will post $4.75 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Friday, October 6th will be paid a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.78%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 5th. Torchmark Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 12.88%.

In related news, insider Steven John Dichiaro sold 13,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.02, for a total value of $1,027,260.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 21,360 shares in the company, valued at $1,687,867.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Robert W. Ingram sold 1,827 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.66, for a total value of $143,711.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 137,821 shares of company stock worth $10,837,593. Insiders own 3.79% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in TMK. Strs Ohio raised its stake in Torchmark Corporation by 564.4% during the first quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 10,464 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $806,000 after buying an additional 8,889 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in Torchmark Corporation by 39.9% during the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 169,633 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $13,073,000 after buying an additional 48,380 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP raised its stake in Torchmark Corporation by 1.9% during the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 157,893 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $12,164,000 after buying an additional 2,902 shares in the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale raised its stake in Torchmark Corporation by 47.3% during the first quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 19,450 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,525,000 after buying an additional 6,250 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in Torchmark Corporation by 3.6% during the first quarter. Henderson Group PLC now owns 17,142 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,321,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.94% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK)

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