Today: The Zacks Investment Research Downgraded Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) to Hold

Today: The Zacks Investment Research Downgraded Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) to Hold

Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE:PRU) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Prudential remains well poised for growth on the back of its high performing asset management business, widespread international operations and deeper reach in the pension risk transfer market. It has been growing its pension risk transfer business and has more than $75 billion in pension account values. It strives to build its leadership position in the pension risk transfer market which has great potential and is an excellent fit for its group annuity management skills. Expanded international presence, mainly in Japan, Korea and China, provides it with better organic growth opportunities than peers. Also, a strong balance sheet and efficient capital management are tailwinds. However, exposure to low interest rates, unfavorable currency impact and regulatory control remain headwinds. With respect to quarterly results, its third-quarter 2016 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also improved year over year, mainly due to higher revenues.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. FBR & Co raised their price objective on shares of Prudential Financial from $86.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised shares of Prudential Financial from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $80.00 to $93.00 in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Bank of America Corp. raised shares of Prudential Financial from an “underperform” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 18th. Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on shares of Prudential Financial in a research note on Friday, October 7th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $89.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. started coverage on shares of Prudential Financial in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. They issued a “market perform” rating for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $91.60.

Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) traded down 0.75% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $100.03. The company had a trading volume of 1,163,882 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average of $89.55 and a 200 day moving average of $79.73. The firm has a market capitalization of $43.01 billion, a PE ratio of 9.43 and a beta of 1.68. Prudential Financial has a 1-year low of $57.19 and a 1-year high of $101.96.

Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $2.66 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.49 by $0.17. Prudential Financial had a return on equity of 7.73% and a net margin of 8.92%. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.40 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Prudential Financial will post $8.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 22nd will be issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 18th. Prudential Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.32%.

In other news, SVP Sharon C. Taylor sold 85,490 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.99, for a total transaction of $7,265,795.10. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 77,221 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,563,012.79. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Timothy P. Harris sold 6,531 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.00, for a total transaction of $555,135.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 20,924 shares in the company, valued at $1,778,540. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Prudential Financial during the second quarter valued at approximately $100,000. Oakworth Capital Inc. raised its stake in Prudential Financial by 21.8% in the third quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. now owns 1,297 shares of the company’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 232 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its stake in Prudential Financial by 6.7% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,516 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 95 shares during the last quarter. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc raised its stake in Prudential Financial by 14.4% in the second quarter. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc now owns 1,632 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 206 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Global X Management Co. LLC raised its stake in Prudential Financial by 272.3% in the third quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 1,489 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 1,089 shares during the last quarter. 60.46% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Prudential Financial Company Profile

Prudential Financial, Inc is a financial services company. The Company, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides a range of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities and investment management. The Company’s divisions include U.S. Retirement Solutions and Investment Management Division; U.S.

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