Torchmark (NYSE:TMK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday. The firm currently has a $103.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 11.65% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Torchmark have outperformed the industry in a year.  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.”

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on TMK. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $83.00 price objective on shares of Torchmark in a report on Friday, November 10th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Torchmark from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. SunTrust Banks raised their price objective on shares of Torchmark from $75.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Torchmark in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $83.00 price objective for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $81.67.

Torchmark (TMK) traded down $0.61 on Thursday, hitting $92.25. 727,661 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 450,835. Torchmark has a one year low of $72.59 and a one year high of $93.34. The company has a current ratio of 0.06, a quick ratio of 0.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22. The firm has a market cap of $10,649.99, a P/E ratio of 19.50, a P/E/G ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 1.01.

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

In other Torchmark news, insider Kenneth J. Matson sold 28,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.81, for a total transaction of $2,588,085.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 15,056 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,367,235.36. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Gary L. Coleman sold 37,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.28, for a total transaction of $3,123,000.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 666,875 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $55,537,350. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 234,335 shares of company stock valued at $20,167,546. 3.79% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in Torchmark by 8.0% during the 3rd quarter. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC now owns 16,147 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $127,000 after purchasing an additional 1,201 shares during the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in Torchmark by 63.6% during the 3rd quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,800 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $144,000 after purchasing an additional 700 shares during the last quarter. Invictus RG bought a new position in Torchmark during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $165,000. Assetmark Inc. raised its holdings in Torchmark by 7,975.0% during the 3rd quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 2,261 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $181,000 after purchasing an additional 2,233 shares during the last quarter. Finally, ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. bought a new position in Torchmark during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $205,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.46% of the company’s stock.

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Torchmark Company Profile

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.

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