Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of FBL Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:FFG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Thursday morning. They currently have $77.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “FBL FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. is a holding company and hrough its subsidiaries underwrites, markets and distributes life insurance, annuities, property-casualty insurance and mutual funds to individuals and small businesses in 15 midwestern and western states. The Company has exclusive marketing arrangements with the state Farm Bureau Federations in its territory and targets sales to approximately 700,000 Farm Bureau member families and other rural, small town andsuburban residents through an exclusive agency force. The Company offers a full range of life insurance products. “

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub raised FBL Financial Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised FBL Financial Group from an underperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th.

FBL Financial Group (NYSE FFG) opened at 68.95 on Thursday. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $68.31 and a 200 day moving average of $66.07. FBL Financial Group has a 12-month low of $59.75 and a 12-month high of $82.60. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.96 and a beta of 0.88.

FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The financial services provider reported $1.23 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.04 by $0.19. FBL Financial Group had a return on equity of 9.12% and a net margin of 15.70%. The company had revenue of $189 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $181.63 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.02 earnings per share. FBL Financial Group’s revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that FBL Financial Group will post $4.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.44 dividend. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.55%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. FBL Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 38.18%.

In other news, Director Scott Vanderwal sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.46, for a total value of $140,920.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 4,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $281,840. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in FBL Financial Group by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 21,834 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,706,000 after buying an additional 586 shares during the period. Eqis Capital Management Inc. increased its position in FBL Financial Group by 7.1% in the first quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,203 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $275,000 after buying an additional 277 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP increased its position in FBL Financial Group by 33.4% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 17,714 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,159,000 after buying an additional 4,432 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in FBL Financial Group by 4.4% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 88,010 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,761,000 after buying an additional 3,674 shares during the period. Finally, Swiss National Bank increased its position in FBL Financial Group by 3.4% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 18,400 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,204,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the period. 28.58% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About FBL Financial Group

FBL Financial Group, Inc sells individual life insurance and annuity products under the brand name of Farm Bureau Financial Services. The Company’s segments are Annuity Segment, which sells a variety of traditional annuity products; Life Insurance Segment, which sells a range of traditional and universal life insurance products, and Corporate and Other segment, which provides various support operations, corporate capital and other product lines.

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