Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $89.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Prudential shares have outperformed the industry year to date. The company continues to gain from asset-based businesses, improved margins in Group Insurance business and solid international operations. High performing asset management business, deeper reach in the pension risk transfer market, strong balance sheet and an efficient capital management are catalysts. Prudential expects return on equity between 12% and 14%, adjusted earnings per share growth in high single digit, and mid-to- high single digit earnings growth across PGIM, International and U.S. Financial Wellness in the intermediate term. However, exposure to low interest rates as well as to products like annuities and universal life, which yield low returns, remains a concern. Escalating expenses continue to weigh on margin expansion.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on PRU. Citigroup cut Prudential Financial from a buy rating to a neutral rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $112.00 to $94.00 in a report on Monday, August 5th. Atlantic Securities cut Prudential Financial from an overweight rating to a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, August 8th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $115.00 price target on Prudential Financial and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Barclays set a $108.00 target price on Prudential Financial and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, August 12th. Finally, UBS Group upped their target price on Prudential Financial from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, September 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $101.05.

Shares of NYSE:PRU traded up $1.27 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $89.49. 18,834 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,262,840. The company has a quick ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 0.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29. Prudential Financial has a 52 week low of $75.61 and a 52 week high of $106.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $34.86 billion, a PE ratio of 7.68, a PEG ratio of 0.78 and a beta of 1.55. The company’s 50 day moving average is $85.92 and its two-hundred day moving average is $95.52.

Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The financial services provider reported $3.14 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.22 by ($0.08). Prudential Financial had a return on equity of 9.24% and a net margin of 6.92%. The business had revenue of $14.11 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.63 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $3.01 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Prudential Financial will post 12.37 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 20th were issued a $1.00 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 19th. This represents a $4.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.47%. Prudential Financial’s payout ratio is currently 34.22%.

In other Prudential Financial news, EVP Robert Falzon purchased 3,580 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 9th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $83.98 per share, with a total value of $300,648.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 64,228 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,393,867.44. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Charles F. Lowrey purchased 7,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 9th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $83.68 per share, with a total value of $627,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,263 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,377,527.84. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders acquired 13,580 shares of company stock worth $1,137,848. Corporate insiders own 0.76% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Prudential Financial by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,659,263 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,298,586,000 after purchasing an additional 324,451 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Prudential Financial by 6.2% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 31,395,669 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,170,962,000 after acquiring an additional 1,840,652 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in Prudential Financial by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 5,176,780 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $522,855,000 after buying an additional 27,620 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Prudential Financial by 6.8% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 5,129,191 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $417,519,000 after buying an additional 326,075 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. raised its stake in Prudential Financial by 72.7% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 3,825,999 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $386,426,000 after buying an additional 1,610,600 shares during the last quarter. 63.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Prudential Financial Company Profile

Prudential Financial, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, investment management, and other financial products and services. It operates through PGIM, U.S. Workplace Solutions, U.S. Individual Solutions, and International Insurance divisions. The PGIM division offers an array of asset management and advisory services related to public and private fixed income, public equity and real estate, commercial mortgage origination and servicing, and mutual funds and other retail services to institutional, private, and sub-advisory clients, as well as to insurance company separate accounts, government sponsored entities, and the general account.

Recommended Story: What economic reports are most valuable to investors?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Prudential Financial (PRU)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU)

Receive News & Ratings for Prudential Financial Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Prudential Financial and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.