ProAssurance (PRA) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

ProAssurance (NYSE:PRA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, January 5th. The firm presently has a $63.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 14.65% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “ProAssurance’s core business has been witnessing substantial improvement over the past few quarters. The company has significantly achieved inorganic growth via successful acquisitions and integration of companies. Its top line has also remained strong consistently on the back of solid premium income. However, the shares have underperformed the industry in last three months. Volatility in premium retention in its physician business has impacted its margins adversely. Growing expenses also continue to weigh on the bottom line. Its declining investment income has been affecting the top line.”

Several other brokerages have also commented on PRA. Buckingham Research assumed coverage on shares of ProAssurance in a research note on Monday, September 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $54.00 price target on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and issued a $61.00 price target on shares of ProAssurance in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of ProAssurance in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. ProAssurance presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $59.50.

Shares of ProAssurance (NYSE:PRA) traded down $0.05 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $54.95. 129,500 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 269,656. The company has a quick ratio of 0.40, a current ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22. ProAssurance has a twelve month low of $50.70 and a twelve month high of $63.45. The company has a market capitalization of $2,940.00, a PE ratio of 20.35 and a beta of 0.58.

ProAssurance (NYSE:PRA) last issued its earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The insurance provider reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.09. ProAssurance had a net margin of 16.18% and a return on equity of 6.75%. The firm had revenue of $228.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $215.12 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.46 earnings per share. ProAssurance’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that ProAssurance will post 2.09 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other ProAssurance news, CEO William Stancil Starnes sold 25,896 shares of ProAssurance stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.01, for a total value of $1,424,538.96. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 277,772 shares in the company, valued at $15,280,237.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in shares of ProAssurance by 8.4% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,067 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 161 shares during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of ProAssurance by 55.3% in the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 2,560 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $156,000 after purchasing an additional 912 shares during the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of ProAssurance by 60.8% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,895 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $176,000 after purchasing an additional 1,095 shares during the last quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of ProAssurance by 47.6% in the 2nd quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. now owns 3,100 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $188,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Verition Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of ProAssurance in the 2nd quarter valued at $211,000. 80.13% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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ProAssurance Company Profile

ProAssurance Corporation (ProAssurance) is a holding company for property and casualty insurance companies. The Company provides professional liability insurance for healthcare professionals and facilities, professional liability insurance for attorneys, liability insurance for medical technology and life sciences risks, and workers’ compensation insurance.

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