Shares of Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK) gapped up before the market opened on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $60.98, but opened at $61.24. Torchmark Corp. shares last traded at $61.88, with a volume of 329,340 shares.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Torchmark Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. RBC Capital Markets reiterated an “underperform” rating and issued a $55.00 price target (up previously from $53.00) on shares of Torchmark Corp. in a research report on Monday. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on shares of Torchmark Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $63.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Torchmark Corp. to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 26th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of Torchmark Corp. from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $58.00.

The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $61.29 and a 200-day moving average price of $57.01. The company has a market cap of $7.49 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.28.

Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.09 by $0.02. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.05 EPS. The company had revenue of $992 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $979.43 million. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Torchmark Corp. will post $4.45 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 1st were given a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 29th.

In related news, EVP W Michael Pressley sold 105,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.75, for a total transaction of $6,168,750.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,948 shares in the company, valued at $5,930,695. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Gary L. Coleman sold 37,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.06, for a total value of $2,327,250.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 625,581 shares in the company, valued at $38,823,556.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Morgan Stanley boosted its position in shares of Torchmark Corp. by 265.5% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 281,660 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,098,000 after buying an additional 204,588 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Torchmark Corp. by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 9,743,034 shares of the company’s stock valued at $556,911,000 after buying an additional 163,375 shares during the period. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. boosted its position in shares of Torchmark Corp. by 193.4% in the fourth quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 35,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,001,000 after buying an additional 23,070 shares during the period. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new position in shares of Torchmark Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,246,000. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Torchmark Corp. by 6.2% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 174,916 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,997,000 after buying an additional 10,280 shares during the period.

Torchmark Corporation is an insurance holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of life and health insurance products and annuities to a broad base of customers. The Company’s segments include life insurance, health insurance, annuities and investment. The life insurance segment offers whole-life insurance and term life insurance.

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