Prudential Financial (PRU) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The firm presently has a $132.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 12.17% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Prudential have outperformed the industry in a year's time. Also, the company saw its 2018 estimates move north in the last 60 days. Prudential is set to grow on its high performing asset management business, international operations and deeper reach in the pension risk transfer market. It strives to build leadership position in the pension risk transfer market. Expanded international presence provides it with better organic growth opportunities than peers. Focus on Protection, Retirement and Investment Management businesses will continue to help Prudential maintain leadership position. Also, a strong balance sheet and efficient capital management are tailwinds. For 2018, earnings per share are estimated in $11.20 – $11.70 range. It expects ROE between 12% and 13% in the near to intermediate term. However, exposure to still low interest rates, unfavorable currency impact and regulatory control remain headwinds.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on Prudential Financial in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. They set a “hold” rating and a $124.00 target price on the stock. ValuEngine raised Prudential Financial from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $127.00 price target on shares of Prudential Financial in a report on Thursday, December 21st. Wells Fargo & Co set a $122.00 price target on Prudential Financial and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, December 14th. Finally, B. Riley reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Prudential Financial in a report on Monday, November 6th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $118.22.

Shares of Prudential Financial (PRU) traded up $1.17 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $117.68. The company had a trading volume of 1,698,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,797,275. Prudential Financial has a 1 year low of $97.88 and a 1 year high of $118.17. The company has a market capitalization of $50,620.00, a PE ratio of 11.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.27 and a beta of 1.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.13 and a current ratio of 0.13.

Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $3.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.71 by $0.30. Prudential Financial had a return on equity of 9.51% and a net margin of 7.71%. The firm had revenue of $13.36 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.24 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $2.66 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Prudential Financial will post 10.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Prudential Financial declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, December 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Prudential Financial news, EVP Charles F. Lowrey sold 44,630 shares of Prudential Financial stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.91, for a total transaction of $4,994,543.30. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 79,354 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,880,506.14. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Barbara Koster sold 16,801 shares of Prudential Financial stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.17, for a total transaction of $1,934,971.17. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 37,327 shares in the company, valued at $4,298,950.59. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 116,818 shares of company stock worth $13,154,122 in the last ninety days. 0.66% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of PRU. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC purchased a new position in Prudential Financial during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $103,000. Grove Bank & Trust grew its position in Prudential Financial by 507.0% during the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 1,129 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $120,000 after purchasing an additional 943 shares in the last quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Prudential Financial during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $129,000. Zions Bancorporation grew its position in Prudential Financial by 44.9% during the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,690 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $180,000 after purchasing an additional 524 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisory Services Network LLC grew its position in Prudential Financial by 128.8% during the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,700 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $184,000 after purchasing an additional 957 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.46% of the company’s stock.

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Prudential Financial Company Profile

Prudential Financial, Inc, is a financial services company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, offers a range of financial products and services, which includes life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. The Company’s operations consists of four divisions, which together encompass seven segments.

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