Primerica Jumps After First Report Since Citigroup Divestiture

By Sapna Maheshwari, May 6, 2010

Primerica Inc. (NYSE:PRI), the life insurer divested by Citigroup Inc. in March, climbed 5.6 percent after the first earnings report since its initial public offering.

Primerica rose $1.33 to $25.21 at 9:37 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Net income jumped to $143.3 million from $112.6 million in the year-earlier period, Duluth, Georgia-based Primerica said in a statement late yesterday. Since its IPO March 31, Primerica shares have climbed 59 percent through yesterday.

Primerica, a distributor of consumer-finance products from term-life insurance to mutual funds, reported earnings for the first time since its $320 million IPO. It was previously part of Citi Holdings, the portfolio of businesses Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said he would sell, wind down or restructure.

“A sustained level of new insurance policies and a sharp increase in investment and savings product sales” boosted results at Primerica, Co-Chief Executive Officer Richard Williams said in the statement. Williams said Primerica's growth would “resemble that of a start-up company.”

Primerica sold 21.36 million shares at $15 each as part of its IPO. Citigroup is the largest shareholder, with a 39 percent stake in the company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Warburg Pincus LLC, the New York-based private equity fund, is the second-largest shareholder, with a 22 percent stake.

The company had realized investment gains of $31.1 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of $11.3 million the same period in 2009.

Citigroup stock has advanced 3.2 percent this year through yesterday.

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