Prudential Financial, Inc. ( PRU Quick Quote PRU - Free Report) has been gaining momentum, given the company's strategic acquisitions, favorable underwriting results, and cost-saving initiatives. Growth Projections
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings per share is pegged at $13.54, indicating a year-over-year increase of 32.6%.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 and 2022 has moved 0.1% and 0.9% north, respectively in the past 30 days. This should instill investors' confidence in the stock.
Earnings Surprise History
Prudential Financial has a decent earnings surprise history. It beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, with the average being 28.64%.
Zacks Rank & Price Performance
Prudential Financial currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). In the past year, the stock has rallied 54.2% compared with the
industry’s increase of 43%. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Business Tailwinds
The multi-line insurer’s international businesses are well poised for growth on the back of net favorable comparative impact from annual assumption update and other refinements, higher net investment spread results, business growth and lower expenses, higher earnings from joint venture investments, and favorable underwriting results.
Higher variable investment income and higher net fee income, backed primarily by equity market appreciation, and favorable underwriting results should drive U.S. Businesses of Prudential Financial. Its adjusted earnings surged more than two-fold in the second quarter. Prudential Financial continues to execute on programmatic M&A opportunities with a focus on higher-growth areas, including asset management and emerging markets. In the third quarter, PGIM inked a deal to acquire Montana Capital Partners in a bid to enhance PGIM's capabilities and further expand its $250 billion alternatives platform. These transactions are expected to add capabilities in PGIM and reinforce its presence in emerging markets, thus boosting its growth opportunity. In the second quarter, the insurer successfully divested its Taiwan business following the sale of its Korea business last year. In the third quarter, it has agreed to sell its full-service retirement business to Empower Retirement in a deal that is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. From these divestitures, the insurer expects net proceeds of nearly $4.2 billion. Riding on market appreciation, continued positive third-party net flows, robust investment performance, and increase in average account values, asset management fees of PGIM should continue to thrive. In the second quarter, the fees surged to a record level. The company continues to expect to accumulate around $750 million of annual run-rate cost savings by the end of 2023. It looks to maintain a solid capital position, which continues to support its AA financial strength rating. It has substantial sources of liquidity. Cash and liquid assets were $4.9 billion at the end of the second quarter, which is more than three times the annual fixed charges. Its other sources of funds include free cash flow from businesses and other contingent capital facilities. The multi-line insurer has increased share repurchase authorization by an additional $500 million, marking the second increase in 2021. This has increased its expected total capital return to shareholders to $11 billion through the end of 2023, up from $10 billion. In addition to this, it will redeem $0.9 billion of outstanding debt in the third quarter to reduce leverage and enhance financial flexibility. Stocks to Consider
Some better-ranked stocks in the insurance sector include
MetLife, Inc. ( MET Quick Quote MET - Free Report) , Horace Mann Educators Corporation ( HMN Quick Quote HMN - Free Report) , and CNO Financial Group, Inc. ( CNO Quick Quote CNO - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. MetLife surpassed estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average beat being 33.35%. Horace Mann Educators surpassed estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average beat being 21.12%. CNO Financial surpassed earnings estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed in one, the average being 26.12%.