ProAssurance (PRA) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

ProAssurance (NYSE:PRA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “ProAssurance Corporation’s earnings per share of 48 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 26.3% and improved 20% year over year, backed by growth across its three operating segments along with overall renewal pricing. Its core business has been witnessing a substantial improvement over the past few quarters. It has significantly achieved inorganic growth via successful acquisitions and integration of companies. Its top line has also remained consistently strong on the back of a solid premium income. However, volatility in premium retention pertaining to the company’s physician business has impacted its margins adversely too. While growing expenses also persistently burden the company’s bottom line, declining investment income has been affecting its revenues.”

A number of other research firms have also commented on PRA. Sandler O’Neill restated a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 price objective on shares of ProAssurance in a research report on Thursday. Boenning Scattergood restated a “hold” rating on shares of ProAssurance in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of ProAssurance from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have given a hold rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.25.

Shares of ProAssurance traded up $0.45, hitting $45.05, during trading hours on Friday, according to MarketBeat. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 444,724 shares, compared to its average volume of 416,374. The company has a market capitalization of $2.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.72 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a quick ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 0.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.18. ProAssurance has a 52-week low of $34.95 and a 52-week high of $63.45.

ProAssurance (NYSE:PRA) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 7th. The insurance provider reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $248.02 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $219.98 million. ProAssurance had a net margin of 9.67% and a return on equity of 6.14%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.40 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that ProAssurance will post 1.83 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Magnus James Gorrie acquired 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 13th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $39.20 per share, for a total transaction of $78,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 14,231 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $557,855.20. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of ProAssurance by 31.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,461,935 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $264,525,000 after acquiring an additional 1,777,372 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in shares of ProAssurance by 3.2% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,242,180 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $108,858,000 after acquiring an additional 70,179 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of ProAssurance by 11.5% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,029,596 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $71,950,000 after acquiring an additional 209,147 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of ProAssurance by 5.6% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,840,518 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $65,247,000 after acquiring an additional 97,038 shares during the period. Finally, Royce & Associates LP lifted its position in ProAssurance by 225.4% during the second quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 1,464,735 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $51,925,000 after purchasing an additional 1,014,637 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 81.88% of the company’s stock.

About ProAssurance

ProAssurance Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides property and casualty insurance, and reinsurance products in the United States. The company operates through Specialty Property and Casualty, Workers' Compensation, and Lloyd's Syndicate segments. It offers 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 for employers, groups, and associations.

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