Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE:PRU) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Monday morning.

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.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on PRU. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised shares of Prudential Financial from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their price target for the company from $80.00 to $93.00 in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Wells Fargo & Co. initiated coverage on shares of Prudential Financial in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. They issued a market perform rating on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG initiated coverage on shares of Prudential Financial in a research note on Friday, October 7th. They issued a neutral rating and a $89.00 price target on the stock. FBR & Co cut shares of Prudential Financial from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $86.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, October 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, 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. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Prudential Financial has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $91.60.

Shares of Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) opened at 100.60 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $89.97 and a 200 day moving average of $79.94. Prudential Financial has a 52 week low of $57.19 and a 52 week high of $101.96. The stock has a market cap of $43.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.48 and a beta of 1.68.

Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $2.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.49 by $0.17. Prudential Financial had a net margin of 8.92% and a return on equity of 7.73%. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $2.40 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Prudential Financial will post $8.99 earnings per share for the current year.

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

In other Prudential Financial news, insider Charles F. Lowrey sold 50,322 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.00, for a total transaction of $4,277,370.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 92,458 shares in the company, valued at $7,858,930. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Scott Sleyster sold 9,379 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.06, for a total transaction of $797,777.74. Following the sale, the insider now owns 34,185 shares in the company, valued at $2,907,776.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of PRU. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Prudential Financial during the second quarter worth about $100,000. Oakworth Capital Inc. raised its stake in shares of Prudential Financial by 21.8% in the third quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. now owns 1,297 shares of the company’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 232 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Prudential Financial by 6.7% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,516 shares of the company’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 95 shares during the period. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Prudential Financial by 14.4% in the second quarter. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc now owns 1,632 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 206 shares during the period. Finally, Global X Management Co. LLC increased its position in shares of Prudential Financial by 272.3% in the third quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 1,489 shares of the company’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 1,089 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 60.46% of the company’s stock.

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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