ValuEngine upgraded shares of Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note released on Sunday morning.

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Prudential Financial in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Citigroup raised shares of Prudential Financial from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $103.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Prudential Financial from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $122.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. FBR & Co raised shares of Prudential Financial from a neutral rating to a buy rating and reduced their price target for the company from $117.00 to $100.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, B. Riley reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Prudential Financial in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Prudential Financial presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $117.45.

Shares of Prudential Financial (PRU) opened at $115.45 on Friday. Prudential Financial has a 52-week low of $97.88 and a 52-week high of $118.17. The company has a market cap of $49,690.00, a PE ratio of 11.64, a PEG ratio of 1.38 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 released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $3.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.71 by $0.30. Prudential Financial had a net margin of 7.71% and a return on equity of 9.51%. The firm had revenue of $13.36 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $12.24 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $2.66 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Prudential Financial will post 10.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 14th. Investors of record on Monday, November 27th were paid a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 24th. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.60%. Prudential Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 30.24%.

Prudential Financial declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, December 14th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, EVP Charles F. Lowrey sold 44,630 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.91, for a total transaction of $4,994,543.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 79,354 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,880,506.14. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Timothy P. Harris sold 10,527 shares of the business’s 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 100,017 shares of company stock valued at $11,219,151. 0.66% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of PRU. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC bought a new position in Prudential Financial in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $103,000. Grove Bank & Trust boosted its stake in Prudential Financial by 507.0% in 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 during the period. Legacy Advisors LLC bought a new position in Prudential Financial in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $129,000. Zions Bancorporation boosted its stake in Prudential Financial by 44.9% in 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 during the period. Finally, Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its stake in Prudential Financial by 128.8% in 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 during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.46% of the company’s stock.

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About Prudential Financial

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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Analyst Recommendations for Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU)

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