Primerica Hits Single Month Investment & Savings Products Sales Record of Approximately $1.1 Billion in March

Company Projects Investment Sales of nearly $2.8 Billion in Q1 2021

Moody's Investors Service - April 20, 2021

(Duluth) – Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI), a leading provider of financial services to middle-income families throughout the United States and Canada, today announced that for the first time in its 44-year history, it achieved a single month Investment & Savings Products (ISP) sales record of more than $1 billion in March 2021. The Company noted that it expects first quarter 2021 ISP sales of approximately $2.8 billion.

“Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused middle-income families to clearly understand their need for protection today and investments for tomorrow. As a result, more consumers are turning to Primerica’s representatives for financial guidance as they work to prepare for the future,” said Glenn Williams, Chief Executive Officer. “In March, we experienced record ISP production in both the U.S. and Canada, which is a clear indication that middle-income consumers are taking action in this important area of their financial game plans.”

The Company noted that momentum in its ISP business has been building since early in the 4th quarter of 2020, and the production has been driven primarily by strong mutual funds sales and increased activity on the managed investments front. Primerica also saw increased client demand for products with guarantees, as evidenced by strong variable annuities sales during the first quarter, as well.

“In addition to health challenges, middle-income families throughout North America have faced unprecedented financial challenges brought on by the global pandemic,” added Williams. “Our sales force and the entire Primerica team remain focused on putting our clients’ needs first as we continue our work to guide them in reaching their financial goals.”

1613186


Moody’s Affirms Primerica’s Ratings Upon Announced Acquisition of e-TeleQuote; Outlook Stable

Moody's Investors Service - April 20, 2021

(New York) – Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has affirmed the Baa1 senior debt rating of Primerica, Inc. and the A1 insurance financial strength (IFS) rating of its primary life insurance operating subsidiary, Primerica Life Insurance Company (PLIC). The affirmation follows the announcement of a transaction by which Primerica will acquire the operating subsidiaries of Etelequote Limited (e-TeleQuote), a fast growing broker focused on selling health products to seniors, especially Medicare Advantage. The outlook on the ratings is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

On April 19, 2021, Primerica announced its intention to acquire e-TeleQuote, with an 80% stake purchased upfront and the remaining to be acquired over a period of up to four years. Primerica will fund the transaction with $370 million in cash, a $125 million draw on its revolving facility, and a $15 million seller's note. Primerica has suspended stock buybacks through the end of the year, and we do not expect the transaction to cause a reduction in PLIC's capitalization level. The transaction is expected to close on July 1, subject to regulatory and other customary closing conditions.

Primerica's ratings are based on the company's strong financial profile, including conservative asset quality, sound risk adjusted capital under stress scenarios, and substantial free cash flow generated by unregulated entities that provide the company with solid cash flow coverage of its interest expense. Primerica also benefits from consistent profitability, driven in part by its ample technology and operating scale, and uncomplicated asset liability management, given its predictable and non-interest sensitive liability cash flows.

These strengths are offset by a relatively weak business profile for its rating level. To maintain new business revenues, Primerica's large distribution system is dependent on significant and constant agent recruiting, which may be constrained in economic downturns. In addition, PLIC relies on a narrowly focused product portfolio of term life business that had produced sizeable regulatory "XXX" reserves, which are supported by third-party financing arrangements.

The acquisition of e-TeleQuote will bring execution risk and temporarily elevated leverage but should be another source of cash flows for Primerica and should create recruitment and referral opportunities for its sales force.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS

The following factors could lead to an upgrade of Primerica's ratings:
1) financial and total leverage of less than 15%;
2) increased market share, without increasing the risk profile of the liabilities; and
3) increased diversification beyond term life and third-party mutual fund and annuity distribution.

Conversely, the following factors could lead to a downgrade of Primerica's ratings:
1) adjusted financial leverage of greater than 25%;
2) earnings coverage below 6 times;
3) cash flow coverage less than 4 times;
4) NAIC RBC ratio (company action level) below 350%; or 5) return on capital of less than 5%.

RATING ACTIONS

The following ratings were affirmed:

Primerica, Inc. -- senior unsecured debt at Baa1;
Primerica Life Insurance Company -- insurance financial strength at A1.
The rating outlook on all entities is stable. 

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Life Insurers Methodology published in November 2019 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1187348 . Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Primerica is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia. As of December 31, 2020, Primerica reported total assets of $14.9 billion and total shareholders' equity of $1.8 billion.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004 .

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

These ratings are solicited. Please refer to Moody's Policy for Designating and Assigning Unsolicited Credit Ratings available on its website www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1243406.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU and is endorsed by Moody's Deutschland GmbH, An der Welle 5, Frankfurt am Main 60322, Germany, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the UK and is endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Limited, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5FA under the law applicable to credit rating agencies in the UK. Further information on the UK endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

1615222


Primerica Announces Agreement to Acquire e-TeleQuote

  • Senior health insurance distribution to expand Primerica’s broad financial services portfolio
  • Enhances Primerica’s middle-income focused client reach

Business Wire, April 19, 2021

(Duluth) – Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI), a leading provider of financial services to middle-income families throughout the United States and Canada, and e-Telequote Limited, a senior health insurance distributor of Medicare-related insurance policies, announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Primerica will acquire 80% of e-Telequote Limited’s operating subsidiaries (collectively, “e-TeleQuote”) at an enterprise value of $600 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Primerica will purchase the remaining 20% stake over a period of up to four years. The companies also signed a distribution agreement for Primerica’s U.S. sales force to refer Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement sales to e-TeleQuote. The transaction is expected to close in July 2021.

“This acquisition will combine the strengths of two successful companies, positioning both for expanded growth,” said Glenn Williams, Primerica Chief Executive Officer. “The synergies between the client relationships of our sales force and e-TeleQuote’s expertise in senior health insurance plans are a major factor in our decision to enter this space. e-TeleQuote’s specialized technology platform and dynamic sales centers align perfectly with Primerica’s powerful distribution capabilities, allowing us to deliver additional value to our clients, sales representatives, employees, and stockholders.”

Williams continued: “This announcement is the culmination of several years of work by our strategy and leadership teams and furthers our long-term strategic plan. e-TeleQuote is the right size acquisition for us in an adjacent, high-growth sector. We look forward to welcoming the e-TeleQuote team to the Primerica family and working together to expand our positive impact on the financial lives of middle-market clients of all ages.”

Headquartered in Clearwater, FL, e-TeleQuote is an innovative, fast growing business in the senior health insurance distribution space with a broad geographic reach into all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. Led by strong entrepreneurial management, the 10-year-old company is well-positioned to expand its role as a distributor of Medicare-related plans, which help seniors defray medical expenses and provide peace of mind.

One of e-TeleQuote’s core strengths is the breadth of its carrier relationships. e-TeleQuote offers products from a wide array of carriers (including United Healthcare, Humana, and Anthem) with over 2,700 Medicare Advantage plans available. e-TeleQuote also has a growing Medicare supplement business with 4 carriers. This breadth aligns well with Primerica’s distribution footprint and will enable Primerica to serve the financial needs of clients more fully throughout their lifecycle. Consumers may obtain information on available plans through e-TeleQuote agents or its consumer facing website www.easymedicare.com.

“We are excited about the many opportunities that present themselves through the combination of our two organizations,” said Anthony P. Solazzo, CEO and Founder of e-TeleQuote. “We believe that e-TeleQuote’s carrier agnostic approach to helping Medicare beneficiaries find solutions to their healthcare needs, as well as our other core values, align perfectly with Primerica. Both organizations are dedicated to serving constituents who have long been underserved and do so through an educational approach that meets the needs of consumers. It is the similar commitment to consumers, employees, and our communities that makes this a mutually beneficial arrangement.”

Financial Terms

Under the terms of the share purchase agreement, Primerica will acquire 80% of e-TeleQuote at a $600 million enterprise value and a $450 million implied equity value based on an estimated $150 million in net debt at closing. Primerica will fund the transaction – which includes the 80% equity stake for $360 million as well as replacing e-TeleQuote’s existing debt with lower cost funding provided by Primerica – with $370 million in cash, a $125 million draw on its revolving credit facility, and a $15 million seller’s note. e-TeleQuote’s stockholders will have a potential earnout of up to $50 million payable in cash if specified financial targets are achieved in 2021 and 2022.

Specifically, Primerica will acquire 70.25% of e-TeleQuote from The Resource Group International, Limited, representing its entire ownership stake, and 9.75% of e-TeleQuote from e-TeleQuote management. Following the closing, the remaining stake will be held by e-TeleQuote’s management. Structural components such as the potential earnout, call and put options and a new management incentive plan are expected to incentivize and encourage retention of key members of the e-TeleQuote team. The call and put options will be exercisable over up to a four-year period. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Primerica’s earnings.

As a result of this announcement, Primerica has suspended stock buybacks through the remainder of 2021 but expects to resume repurchases in 2022.

Strategic Rationale

Primerica’s acquisition of e-TeleQuote is a natural extension of its strategy to distinguish itself as the leading distributor of financial services products to meet middle-income families’ evolving needs. With a product portfolio that provides a solid foundation for financial security – term life insurance, annuities, IRAs, managed investment accounts, mortgage lending, pre-paid legal services, and the coming addition of senior health insurance plans – Primerica is positioning itself to become an even more important part of the financial lives of the overlooked middle-income market. Senior health insurance plans play a critical role in bridging the gap between Medicare and the healthcare expenses seniors often face after turning 65 years of age. Acquiring e-TeleQuote will support Primerica’s already formidable distribution capabilities, enhance Primerica’s earning streams, extend Primerica’s reach into new markets and create recruitment and referral opportunities for Primerica’s sales force.

Approvals and Timing

The transaction has been approved by both companies' boards of directors and is expected to close on July 1. The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary closing conditions.

Advisors

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as financial advisor to Primerica and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel to Primerica. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisor to e-TeleQuote, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP served as legal counsel to e-TeleQuote.

Webcast/Conference Call

Primerica will conduct a webcast at 5:30 p.m. Eastern on April 19, 2021 to discuss the planned acquisition. The investor webcast can be accessed at the Company’s investor relations website, https://investors.primerica.com. A webcast replay will be available on the website after the call. For additional information on the pending transaction, please see www.primerica.com/public/announcement.

Forward-looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this press release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements, which are not strictly historical statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the proposed acquisition of a majority stake in e-TeleQuote; the benefits of the acquisition of a majority stake in e-TeleQuote, including the expansion of Primerica’s distribution and lead curation capabilities, potential new cross-selling opportunities and market reach, diversification of Primerica’s earning streams, acceleration of Primerica’s long-term strategic plans and movement into an adjacent sector, potential enhancement of growth and earnings expectations, and the potential value and synergies that the strategic partnership may deliver, including to Primerica’s clients, sales force, employees and stockholders; expectations regarding new debt; and the expected timing of the proposed transactions, constitute forward-looking statements.

Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the ability of Primerica and the selling shareholders to close the announced transaction; the ability of Primerica to realize the potential benefits of the acquisition of a majority stake in e-TeleQuote; the possibility that the closing of the transaction may be delayed; potential disruptions to Primerica’s and e-TeleQuote’s operations, distraction of management and other risks related to Primerica’s integration of e-TeleQuote’s business, team, technology and sales centers; e-TeleQuote’s ability to recruit agents; e-TeleQuote’s ability to retain management and key employees; the ability of e-TeleQuote’s sales agents to place policies based on leads provided by Primerica; revenue growth and recognition of revenue; products and services, and their development and distribution; risks related to economic, regulatory and competitive factors; risks related to Primerica and e-TeleQuote’s key strategic relationships, including e-TeleQuote’s carrier relationships; and other risks detailed in Primerica’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Primerica assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.

1613172


Primerica Included in 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index

Business Wire, January 27, 2021

Duluth – Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI), a leading provider of financial services to families in the United States and Canada, today announced that the Company has been selected as one of 380 companies across 11 sectors to be included in the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). The GEI represents 44 countries and regions and companies reflect a variety of industries, including financial services, automotive, consumer services, engineering and construction, and retail.

“Primerica is committed to diversity, equality and inclusion in all areas of our business, including the number of women in leadership roles and in our talent and succession planning programs,” said Glenn Williams, Primerica CEO. “We’re proud our Company has been recognized as one of the 138 U.S.-headquartered companies to be included in the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index.”

The GEI brings transparency to gender-related practices and policies at publicly listed companies increasing the breadth of environmental, social, governance (ESG) data available to investors. The comprehensive, transparent GEI scoring methodology allows investors to assess company performance and compare across industry peer groups.

The reference index measures gender equality across five pillars: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, sexual harassment policies, and pro-women brand.

Primerica was also one of the companies included in the 2020 GEI, which included 325 companies headquartered across 42 countries and regions.

“The companies included in the 2021 GEI are expanding the ESG data universe to include gender-related data that investors are demanding today,” said Peter T. Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg. “Their commitment to disclosure is making the business case for inclusion and driving transparency in the markets.”

Through disclosure of gender-related metrics using the GEI framework, the firms included in the 2021 GEI have committed to providing a comprehensive look at their investment in workplace gender equality and the communities in which they operate, raising the bar of what should be expected from other companies within the same industry. Primerica was included in this year’s index for scoring at or above a global threshold established by Bloomberg to reflect a high level of disclosure and overall performance across the framework’s five pillars.

Both the framework and the GEI are voluntary and have no associated costs. The GEI is a reference index and is not for use as a financial benchmark. The index is not ranked. While all public companies are encouraged to disclose supplemental gender data for their company’s investment profile on the Bloomberg Terminal, those that have a market capitalization of USD1 billion are eligible for inclusion in the index.

1501324


Primerica to Hold Virtual 2021 Senior Leadership Meeting

Odessa American, January 7, 2021

Primerica, Inc. (NYSE : PRI), a leading provider of financial services to families throughout the United States and Canada, will kick off the new year with a virtual conference for its top sales leaders on January 7-8, 2021. The event, which will center on initiatives for 2021 and beyond, replaces the Company’s traditional in-person leadership meeting, and it is expected that more than 800 Primerica field leaders will participate. The meeting also provides a platform for our most successful representatives to share their methods for helping even more middle-income families become properly protected and financially secure.

“The disruption during 2020 confirmed that more families than ever need the financial solutions that Primerica provides to help them achieve their financial goals,” said Glenn Williams, Primerica CEO. “Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our sales force and home office team, we exhibited adaptability that enabled us to effectively meet the financial needs of middle-income families despite the new realities brought on by the global pandemic.”

Williams continued, “In 2021, we will continue to serve our clients in this new environment and work to build on the momentum we achieved in 2020. Over the past several years, we have deployed industry-leading technology to make our client interactions safer, faster, and more convenient. These improvements also helped make our business opportunity more attractive to thousands of entrepreneurs across the U.S. and Canada. We enter the new year more resilient, more confident, and better positioned to help families than ever before.”

The Company also will celebrate 2020 production1 success during the meeting, including total face amount of life insurance in force of approximately $859 billion at year end, as well as an increase in projected client asset values to more than $80 billion. As of December 31, 2020, Primerica had 134,907 independent life-licensed representatives, including 3,597 licenses that were issued on a temporary basis due to COVID-19 and 2,508 licenses in states where the renewal date was extended. Additionally, Primerica ended 2020 with more than 25,800 mutual fund-licensed representatives. Other 2020 production results include:

  • Recruiting of New Representatives: 400,345
  • Term Life Insurance Face Amount Issued: $109 billion
  • Term Life Insurance Claims Paid to Policy Beneficiaries: $1.5 billion
  • Investment and Savings Products Sales: $7.8 billion
  • Closed US Mortgage Volume (brokered): $442 million
  • Closed Canada Mortgage Volume (referred): $66 million CAD

“In 2020, our field leaders were challenged to rise to new levels. Their shared passion for helping our clients produced record success in one of the most disruptive years of our generation. Due to their hard work and that of our employees, Primerica is well-positioned to continue to deliver value to all of our stakeholders in 2021 and beyond,” says Williams.

1. All production results contained herein are projected.

1476076


In the Face of COVID-19, Primerica Survey Finds American Families Have Mixed Feelings About Personal Finances

Odessa American, October 28, 2020

A new study finds the majority of middle-income families are positive about their current financial situation in the face of COVID-19, but many are worried about the future. Sixty-four percent rate their personal finances positively, but 50% report that their income is falling behind the cost of living, and just 31% think they’ll be able to save for a comfortable retirement.

These are the initial findings of the Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor (“the Monitor”) from Primerica Inc. (NYSE: PRI), a leading provider of financial services to middle-income families. The Monitor is a recurring quarterly poll that gauges the financial preparedness, habits, and concerns of those with annual household incomes of $30,000-$100,000.

“We are encouraged by the findings in Primerica’s latest Financial Security Monitor. Middle-income families are taking steps to save for the future and protect their assets, despite facing challenging economic times,” said Glenn J. Williams, CEO of Primerica. “Overall, they remain positive about their finances, which is a testament to their resiliency. Every day throughout North America, Primerica’s representatives are proud to help hard-working families plan for their financial futures.”

Key Findings from Primerica’s Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor

How are families doing financially?

  • Households worry about both their physical and financial health. Their most common worry was of their physical health (43%); however, saving for retirement (27%), the current state of their finances (23%), making housing payments (20%), and paying off credit card debt (19%) are their next most common worries.
  • They aren’t as prepared for the unexpected as they need to be. 39% do not have an emergency fund that would cover an expense of $1,000 or more, and 51% would run out of money to meet basic needs within three months if they or their family’s primary breadwinner lost their job.
  • Families are taking steps to save for the future and protect what they have, but they could do more. 78% have a savings account, 56% have a retirement account provided through work, and 63% have a life insurance policy to protect what they have.

Are families equipped with the financial information they need?

  • More than 80% of families we studied are confident in their knowledge of important financial fundamentals like building good credit, budgeting and saving. However, they are less confident in more complex financial matters like setting up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) (65% confident), buying life insurance (64%), and investing in stocks (50%). Only 42% know where to find a financial professional who could provide assistance.

How is the pandemic affecting the lives of middle-class families?

  • The ongoing pandemic has caused 27% of working families to decrease spending and 20% to increase personal debt.
  • More than 75% of working Americans feel the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act helped at least a little, but 19% feel it was no help at all. If another government payment is sent this fall, families would use it to pay bills (42%) or pay down debt (34%).

The Value of Professional Financial Advice
Primerica’s Monitor graded study participants based on whether or not they engage in five financial preparedness fundamentals, including saving for their future and protecting their income through life insurance. The average grade was a C, but 21% of those who have met with a financial professional earned an “A” compared to just 8% of those who have not.

About Primerica’s Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor
The Monitor is a quarterly national survey to monitor the financial health of those with annual household incomes of $30,000-$100,000. Change Research conducted online polling from September 25-28, 2020. Using Dynamic Online Sampling, Change Research polled 837 adults. Post-stratification weights were made on gender, age, race, education and Census region to reflect the population of these adults based on the five-year averages in the 2018 American Community Survey published by the U.S. Census. The sampling error is 5%.

1401516


Primerica (PRI) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates

Yahoo Finance, November 4, 2020

Primerica (PRI) came out with quarterly earnings of $2.78 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.38 per share. This compares to earnings of $2.26 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items.

This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of 16.81%. A quarter ago, it was expected that this life insurance and financial products company would post earnings of $2.12 per share when it actually produced earnings of $2.44, delivering a surprise of 15.09%.

Over the last four quarters, the company has surpassed consensus EPS estimates four times.

Primerica, which belongs to the Zacks Insurance - Life Insurance industry, posted revenues of $566.65 million for the quarter ended September 2020, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.50%. This compares to year-ago revenues of $519.83 million. The company has topped consensus revenue estimates four times over the last four quarters.

The sustainability of the stock's immediate price movement based on the recently released numbers and future earnings expectations will mostly depend on management's commentary on the earnings call.

Primerica shares have lost about 13.1% since the beginning of the year versus the S&P 500's gain of 4.3%.

What's Next for Primerica?

While Primerica has underperformed the market so far this year, the question that comes to investors' minds is: what's next for the stock?

There are no easy answers to this key question, but one reliable measure that can help investors address this is the company's earnings outlook. Not only does this include current consensus earnings expectations for the coming quarter(s), but also how these expectations have changed lately.

Empirical research shows a strong correlation between near-term stock movements and trends in earnings estimate revisions. Investors can track such revisions by themselves or rely on a tried-and-tested rating tool like the Zacks Rank, which has an impressive track record of harnessing the power of earnings estimate revisions.

Ahead of this earnings release, the estimate revisions trend for Primerica was mixed. While the magnitude and direction of estimate revisions could change following the company's just-released earnings report, the current status translates into a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) for the stock. So, the shares are expected to perform in line with the market in the near future. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

It will be interesting to see how estimates for the coming quarters and current fiscal year change in the days ahead. The current consensus EPS estimate is $2.40 on $561.80 million in revenues for the coming quarter and $9.27 on $2.16 billion in revenues for the current fiscal year.

Investors should be mindful of the fact that the outlook for the industry can have a material impact on the performance of the stock as well. In terms of the Zacks Industry Rank, Insurance - Life Insurance is currently in the top 39% of the 250 plus Zacks industries. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

1401645


AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Primerica, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

Business Wire, October 1, 2020

Duluth – AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of Primerica Life Insurance Company (Nashville, TN) and its affiliates, National Benefit Life Insurance Company (Long Island City, NY) and Primerica Life Insurance Company of Canada (Mississauga, Ontario), collectively referred to as Primerica Life. Additionally, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a-” of Primerica, Inc. (Primerica) (headquartered in Duluth, GA) [NYSE: PRI], which is the holding company for the group’s insurance and non-insurance operating companies. AM Best also has affirmed the Long-Term Issue Credit Rating of “a-” on $375 million 4.75% senior unsecured notes due 2022 of Primerica. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Primerica Life’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its very strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

Primerica Life’s ratings recognize the group’s favorable risk-adjusted capitalization and generally high quality investment portfolio, as well as its favorable reserve profile, which is almost exclusively composed of term life insurance and is viewed as low risk on AM Best’s product continuum. However, the group continues to maintain higher allocations to NAIC class 2 bonds relative to industry averages. Risk-adjusted capitalization ratios are dampened qualitatively by heavy reliance on captive reinsurance solutions to fund its Regulation XXX reserves, which will moderate as new business is issued under principles-based reserving practices. The ratings also reflect strong liquidity and positive financial flexibility, as well as solid financial leverage and interest coverage ratios that are within AM Best’s guidelines for these ratings.

Primerica Life’s earnings have been consistent with AM Best’s expectations, as the group continuously has generated solid levels of GAAP and statutory net income due to favorable loss ratios, although there has been some uptick in claims as a result of COVID-19. Premium growth has been generally favorable, and the company has been able to pivot sales efforts during the pandemic successfully. Premium growth has been offset partially by higher-than-industry lapse rates, and general expenses per policy remain on an upward trend. Primerica Life’s operating profile benefits from non-insurance revenues that represent a substantial portion of overall GAAP revenues through the sale of mutual funds and other investment savings products, along with distribution of other manufacturers’ life and annuity products, which generates fee-based revenues and provides a source of earnings diversification.

Primerica Life’s ratings also recognize its status as one of the largest writers of term life insurance in the United States, with its continued strong market position attributable to its dedicated distribution affiliate, Primerica Financial Services, LLC. This integrated distribution includes slightly over 130,000 life agents with almost 26,000 mutual fund-licensed representatives across the country. Primerica Life’s business profile in the United States and Canada is reinforced further by its experienced management team, which successfully built and supports its sizable sales force. However, its business model is heavily reliant upon the need to continuously recruit agents to maintain its competitive advantage, and initially the COVID-19 pandemic created some challenges with agent licensing, which are now normalizing. Offsetting rating factors is Primerica Life’s somewhat narrow insurance business profile focus, which is almost exclusively focused on term life products. However, Primerica continues to expand its affiliated relationships, and AM Best notes a new mortgage brokerage program initiated in partnership with Quicken Loans, whereby Primerica’s licensed Mortgage Loan Originators can now broker mortgage loans in an effort to further diversify its business profile.

 

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

1350921


Being Financially Prepared Matters in a Pandemic

These steps can help safeguard your family’s financial future now and well after the crisis is over.

Estee Faranda, Contributor, U.S. News & World Report, September 21, 2020

The financial impact of the COVID-19 global health crisis has been wide, but there are some hopeful signs. The unemployment rate has fallen from its high in April, surprising many economic observers. Still, roughly 8.5% of working Americans were jobless in August, and there's much more work to be done to safeguard the financial futures of many households.

Many Americans are being squeezed during the crisis. A recent Primerica study shared that in a survey of 662 adults with annual incomes between $30,000 and $100,000, 86% responded that they have been financially affected by the pandemic to some extent and 54% are reassessing how they approach managing money.

Despite the difficulties and uncertainties of the moment, investors don't have to feel powerless. There are several things you can do to strengthen your financial future and weather today's economic challenges, as well as future storms.

Develop a Game Plan for Financial Preparedness

The most important step you can take right now is to meet with a licensed financial professional to create a strategy for the future. I've seen time and again that people with guidance on money matters are more likely than people with no guidance to feel prepared for a personal or national crisis and to have a personal financial safety net in place.

Even an investor who doesn't make six figures can talk to a professional about developing a financial game plan to prepare for the future. Look for a financial services provider who works with middle-income families, with experience guiding people through difficult times. A good financial professional will help you think through what matters to you. At this time, that's likely to be bolstering your ability to care for your family financially without sacrificing future goals.

As intended and expected, many people are using their stimulus checks for household essentials, bill payments and grocery purchases. But if you can, use part of your check to take steps toward securing your financial future. By consulting with a financial professional, you can decide if that means investing, adding to or starting a retirement account, or learning more about your options.

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor For You

Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with top fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is legally bound to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Invest in Your Financial Future

With an uncertain economy, it's both reasonable and easy to focus on the needs of today rather than working to secure your financial future. But if you wait, you will miss out on valuable years for compounding your money or worse, you may never get started. Every day counts, so use this moment to work toward your financial goals.

Now might be the perfect moment to invest in your future, as many people are delaying travel plans, eating out less and spending less on leisure activities. If you have fewer expenses and the same income, the benefits of investing this additional money could be life changing; however, you don't need a lot of additional money to make a big impact on your future. For example, if you started investing $100 a month for 40 years, here's how much you would earn at different interest rates, compounded annually:

  • 3% interest: $90,481.51
  • 5% interest: $144,959.73
  • 9% interest: $405,458.93

Here's a pro tip to get started: Consider creating different investment accounts for each of your financial goals, and then automatically allocating funds into each account. You might set up a 401(k), Roth or traditional individual retirement account (IRA) for your retirement, a 529 plan for education or a money market account for building up a three-month emergency fund. Even if you're only able to contribute a little today, making a habit of it will have a big impact on your financial strength and security in the future.

 

Disclosure: Primerica is not responsible for, and does not endorse or otherwise adopt, any third-party content hyperlinked or advertised from this article, which may include information about products and services that are not relevant or applicable to or offered by Primerica or its financial representatives. In the U.S., Primerica offers securities and advisory services through PFS Investments Inc., 1 Primerica Parkway, Duluth, Georgia 30099-0001, member FINRA.

Estee Faranda is CEO of PFS Investments. She heads up the securities division of Primerica, Inc., including the retail broker-dealer and investment advisory business lines. With 25 years in Financial Services, she has had leadership roles ranging from operations to distribution. She is on the board of the American Securities Association, was named a 2018 Women to Watch by Investment News, one of 16 Top Women in Wealth Tech by Investment Advisor magazine and spent six years in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

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Two COVID Americas: One Struggles, While the Other Saves and Spends

Jessica Menton, USA Today, July 20, 2020

There are two COVID Americas. One hopes for an extension of federal unemployment and stimulus. The other is saving and spending.

It’s been a rough few months for Chelsie Caudle.

The mother of two has run into delays applying for unemployment and food stamps in Portland, Oregon, after Grace Salon, a hair salon that specializes in cutting and coloring, was forced to shutter in March when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Caudle, who is self-employed, sublet a spot at Grace Salon to run her own business called Benjamin LLC. But with no income coming in for months, bills piled up, making it hard for her to afford groceries for her family, she says.

“I’m panicked. I’ve run through my entire savings,” says Caudle, who returned to work a few weeks ago. But she has put in fewer hours with less clients due to social-distancing measures.

“If the state shuts down the salon again, I don’t know what I’ll do,” says Caudle, 35.

Across the country, Sarah Walker, 31, was more fortunate. She and her husband, who live in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, have cut down on their daycare and driving expenses during the pandemic since they’re both working from home, saving her family nearly $2,000 a month. That’s helped them stash more money away in their retirement accounts.

“As soon as our expenses were cut, I immediately started saving more,” says Walker, who’s a Senior Credit and Collections Specialist at a cement manufacturer. Her husband works with children in youth services.

The coronavirus recession has split America in two: those who are still financially intact, and others facing lasting scars.

Congress is set to reconvene this week at a critical juncture following a two-week recess as the $600 weekly unemployment benefits under the CARES Act are set to expire at the end of the month. Policymakers will debate whether more emergency stimulus checks and extra unemployment payments are needed to keep jobless people afloat as workers and businesses continue to grapple with the economic fallout of the pandemic.

More than two-thirds of Americans say they still need a second stimulus check from the government to help make ends meet, according to recent data from tax preparer Jackson Hewitt. And about a third of that group said the $1,200 checks needed to be more than the previous round. Only about a quarter of them say they wouldn’t need another emergency payment.

“Another round of stimulus is badly needed,” says Gregory Daco, Chief U.S. Economist of Oxford Economics. The expiring of enhanced unemployment benefits could represent a “severe shock” to people’s income since another potential round of stimulus checks likely won’t be as large as they previously were, he added.

More states have paused or rolled back their reopening plans following a resurgence in coronavirus cases, which could cause more people to lose their jobs, experts say. A staggering 51.3 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the past 17 weeks during the pandemic.

“If we do get a big pullback in income in August, that will directly affect people’s ability to spend, which creates a risk for the economic rebound,” Daco says.

In April, Caudle received a $2,200 stimulus check, which temporarily helped tide her over to cover her rent, car loan and auto insurance, she says.

“I have terrible anxiety because of the unknown,” Caudle says. “Another stimulus check would be a huge help.”

A quarter of Americans are using the stimulus money to cover major bills including their rent or mortgage, student or car loans and hospital bills. And 20% are using the money to pay for essentials like groceries or medical supplies, the Jackson Hewitt data showed.

“This should give us all pause for concern because some Americans are still in dire need of more money,” says Mark Steber, Chief Tax Information Officer at Jackson Hewitt. “People are in real pain.”

Some Americans remain unscathed

There are workers who have been more insulated from the recession and have used the pandemic as a time to build their nest egg. Nearly a third of Americans have put their stimulus money into a savings or retirement account, Jackson Hewitt data showed.

Walker, for instance, upped her 401(k) contributions and maxed out her Roth IRA.
“We’re young. I want to save as much as I can now when the market is down and stock prices are cheaper,” says Walker.

She and her husband received a $3,400 stimulus check and used part of it to pay off credit card debt, and used the remaining portion to invest.

“It’s conflicting. In one way I want the world to go back to normal because we miss our friends and our fun activities,” Walker says. “But it’s also nice to save more money and see those retirement balances shooting up.”

Some Americans are still sticking with their long-term investment strategy and are contributing more to their retirement accounts. According to Voya Financial’s retirement plan participant data, of those who changed their savings rate with the investment management company, 64% increased plan contributions in the second quarter.

The couple also has been giving back to those less fortunate during the pandemic. About 3% of people donated their stimulus checks to those in need, according to Jackson Hewitt.

Low-wage workers bear the brunt

Job losses among low-wage workers represented 56% of the total employment decline during the coronavirus recession, with the unemployment rate rising as high as 50% in the most exposed industries like leisure, hospitality and retail, according to Oxford Economics.

While the employment rebound has been stronger for the lowest earners, their level of employment remained 16% lower in June than in February, a shortfall about 2.5 times greater than for the mid- and high-wage groups.

White-collar workers who had been relatively less affected at the onset of the pandemic appear more exposed now to permanent layoffs, Daco says.

“With nearly seven million low-income workers still unemployed and many lacking the financial buffer to weather a long jobless spell, a failure to provide additional fiscal support would put the nascent recovery at risk,” Daco says. “The recent flare-up in COVID-19 infections nationwide, with some states rolling back their reopening, also risks another wave of layoffs at the bottom.”

Middle-class households face hurdles, too

The pandemic has revealed how much middle-income households are financially vulnerable, according to Peter Schneider, President at Primerica, a financial services provider.

“It’s understandable that people have anxiety about the future,” says Peter Schneider, President at Primerica. “There’s much concern about future employment and bills being paid.”

About 51% of the middle-income families who have been financially affected by the pandemic are concerned about running out of money to pay for basic necessities by the end of the year, according to a recent survey from Primerica. The survey gauged the financial outlook and preparedness of those with annual household incomes between $30,000 to $100,000.

About 86% of middle-income households that said they have been financially impacted by the pandemic in at least some way. And respondents expressed concern about their ability to weather a medium or long-term economic downturn. Just over a third of respondents believe their personal finances will recover from the effects of the recession in the next year.

Of the more than two-thirds of respondents who received a stimulus payment, the most common uses included paying bills (49%), buying groceries (36%) and adding to savings (25%), the Primerica study showed.

About 61% of middle-income Americans have had to cut spending in the wake of the pandemic.
“We are encouraged that middle-income families are making adjustments to their budgets by reducing their spending on non-necessities,” Schneider says. “That’s an important step toward getting on better financial footing.”

Will there be a second round of stimulus?

The White House signaled its support for additional cash payments as part of the next recovery package. The House passed a Democratic bill calling for a second round of direct payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for joint filers. Senate Republicans also appear to be on board with an additional round of stimulus payments, although they want to limit who would qualify.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., suggested distributing the money to people who earn $40,000 or less per year, arguing they would benefit the most from another round of stimulus payments. But House Democrats in their bill, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, are calling for the next round of $1,200 stimulus payments to go to Americans earning less than $75,000 a year.

When it comes to enhanced unemployment, Republicans argue that the $600 boost was too high and a disincentive for Americans to go back to work. Democrats have said the program should be renewed and pointed to the still-high unemployment rate, currently 11.1%.

Republicans have floated a variety of options that include reforming the enhanced benefits or even replacing them with a back-to-work bonus, but they are not keen to continue the $600 program.

Some experts argue that the government shouldn’t continue to add to the growing U.S. budget deficit since improving retail sales and the labor market data point to an economic rebound.

The U.S. budget deficit reached $3 trillion in the 12 months through June as stimulus spending jumped to combat the effects of the pandemic, with the federal government headed for its largest annual deficit as a share of the economy since World War II.

“If we do need more stimulus, let’s give it more time and reconsider,” says Dr. Michael Busler, a Public Policy Analyst and a Professor of Finance at Stockton University in New Jersey. “We could be going through a second wave of the pandemic, which could slow the economic rebound. But if the recovery is strong enough, it could withstand it.”

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