Investors Buy Prudential Financial (PRU) on Weakness

Investors bought shares of Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE:PRU) on weakness during trading hours on Monday. $103.36 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $55.36 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $48.00 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Prudential Financial had the 13th highest net in-flow for the day. Prudential Financial traded down ($0.30) for the day and closed at $109.43

Several analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada raised shares of Prudential Financial from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, February 12th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank reduced their price target on shares of Prudential Financial from $132.00 to $125.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 9th. Wells Fargo & Co reduced their price target on shares of Prudential Financial from $122.00 to $111.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 9th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on shares of Prudential Financial from $133.00 to $131.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, Sandler O’Neill reissued a “buy” rating and set a $134.00 price target on shares of Prudential Financial in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $118.38.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.13, a current ratio of 0.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. The company has a market capitalization of $46,000.00, a P/E ratio of 6.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.13 and a beta of 1.49.

Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The financial services provider reported $2.69 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.64 by $0.05. Prudential Financial had a net margin of 13.41% and a return on equity of 9.29%. The firm had revenue of $15.25 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $12.87 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $2.46 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Prudential Financial Inc will post 12.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.90 per share. This represents a $3.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.32%. This is a positive change from Prudential Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.75. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 20th. Prudential Financial’s dividend payout ratio is presently 16.80%.

Prudential Financial announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, December 14th that permits the company to buyback $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Prudential Financial news, EVP Timothy P. Harris sold 10,527 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.00, for a total value of $1,210,605.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Barbara Koster sold 16,801 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.17, for a total transaction of $1,934,971.17. Following the completion of 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. 0.66% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PRU. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its stake in Prudential Financial by 128.8% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,700 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $184,000 after purchasing an additional 957 shares during the last quarter. Intl Fcstone Inc. purchased a new position in Prudential Financial in the second quarter valued at approximately $247,000. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. purchased a new position in Prudential Financial in the third quarter valued at approximately $4,683,000. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its stake in Prudential Financial by 1.1% in the third quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 292,804 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $31,132,000 after purchasing an additional 3,170 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Douglas Lane & Associates LLC increased its stake in Prudential Financial by 3.1% in the third quarter. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC now owns 647,412 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $68,833,000 after purchasing an additional 19,238 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.81% 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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