Torchmark Corporation (TMK) stock slips, “Sell” rating reiterated by Barclays PLC Analysts

Torchmark Corporation (NYSE: TMK) shares fell in early trading today on lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock and reiterated thier respective ratings.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks edged lower Monday, with major indexes retreating from record levels.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.31% fell 48 points, or 0.2%, to 19,916, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.29% lost 5 points to 2,272, a drop of 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.03% rose 4 points to 5,529, a gain of about 0.1%.

Barclays PLC analysts reiterated its Sell rating on Torchmark Corporation (NYSE: TMK) in a note to investors, making it one of the more closely watched stocks on Wall Street. The company currently has a rating of Sell on the stock. The one-year price target of $69.20 is a decrease compared to the opening price of $73.86, that has caused a fair amount of other analysts to comment on the stock in recent days. Looking back over the last year, Torchmark Corporation stock has a high of $75.07. Share prices often trend to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional brokerage firms.

Shares of Torchmark Corporation (NYSE: TMK) opened at $73.86 yesterday trading between $73.82 and $74.35, and last traded at $74.27, which represents a dip of $0.32 from the previous closing price.

Torchmark Corporation (NYSE: TMK) currently has a market cap of 8.81B.

Torchmark Corporation (NYSE: TMK) Average Daily Trading Volume

25,844 shares traded hands yesterday, 14 percent below the norm, out of a total float 110,146,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use increases in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

However, a single day of heavy buy side trading is not enough to assert a trend. As such, market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as a signal that financial institutions are moving forward.

Institutional sponsorship is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

These professional investors have teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

Torchmark Corporation (NYSE: TMK) Moving Averages

A moving average can also act as support or resistance. In an uptrend a 50-day, 100-day or 200-day moving average may act as a support level, as shown in the figure below.

This is because the average acts like a floor (support), so the price bounces up off of it.

In a downtrend a moving average may act as resistance; like a ceiling, the price hits it and then starts to drop again.

By tracking the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they affect—it allows for traders to make more effective decisions on trades.

Trades for Torchmark Corporation (NYSE: TMK) have ranged from $48.47 – 75.07, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $72.81 and 200-day MA of $65.63. Today’s last price is 1.07%% below the 52 week high of $75.07.

Earnings growth is a critical factor to look at when investing in stocks and investors watch for companies that have grown their earnings by at least 25% for a 3 year period.

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