Torchmark (NYSE:TMK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Torchmark have outperformed the industry quarter to date. 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 now expects net operating income between $4.77 and $4.83 per share in 2017 on positive outlook for life underwriting income at American Income and health insurance businesses. For 2018, it guides the bottom line between $5 and $5.25 per share. Life underwriting income is to grow in 4%-5% range while health underwriting income in 3%-5% range. However, higher administrative expenses (6.4% of premium in 2017), pension costs and investments in IT systems will likely be a drag on Torchmark’s earnings in the near term.”

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on TMK. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on Torchmark in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $83.00 price target on the stock. SunTrust Banks upped their price target on Torchmark from $75.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $83.00 price target on shares of Torchmark in a report on Friday, November 10th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $78.86.

Torchmark (TMK) opened at $90.69 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $10,440.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.55, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.63 and a beta of 1.02. Torchmark has a twelve month low of $72.59 and a twelve month high of $91.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.06 and a quick ratio of 0.06.

Torchmark (NYSE:TMK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The insurance provider reported $1.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.05 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.03 billion. Torchmark had a return on equity of 11.60% and a net margin of 13.80%. The firm’s revenue was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.15 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Torchmark will post 4.8 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Torchmark news, Chairman Gary L. Coleman sold 37,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.28, for a total transaction of $3,123,000.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 666,875 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $55,537,350. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Paul J. Zucconi sold 595 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.07, for a total transaction of $50,616.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 193,085 shares of company stock worth $16,420,614. Company insiders own 3.79% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Torchmark by 8.0% during the 3rd quarter. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC now owns 16,147 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $127,000 after acquiring an additional 1,201 shares in the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Torchmark by 63.6% during the 3rd quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,800 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $144,000 after acquiring an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. Invictus RG purchased a new position in shares of Torchmark during the 3rd quarter valued at $165,000. Assetmark Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Torchmark by 7,975.0% during the 3rd quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 2,261 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $181,000 after acquiring an additional 2,233 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Torchmark during the 3rd quarter valued at $205,000. 72.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Torchmark

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 (NYSE:TMK)

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