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Torchmark (TMK) Q1 Earnings Beat Unlikely: Stock at Risk?

Torchmark Corporation TMK is scheduled to report first-quarter 2016 results after the closing bell on Apr 26. In the last quarter, this company delivered a 0.94% negative earnings surprise. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors Influencing this Past Quarter

Riding on the strength of a better performing American Income Exclusive Agency, Torchmark is likely to experience higher premiums in the first quarter. With a solid agent count, life sale is likely to have improved.

By selling basic life insurance products to middle and lower middle-income households, Global Life operates in a relatively non-competitive market, enjoying competitive advantages like experienced people and cost control. These attributes is expected to have supported the segment to deliver better results in the to-be-reported quarter.

Health sales are likely to have improved with contributions from the acquisition of Family Heritage Life Insurance Company.

Continued share buyback must have given an additional boost to its bottom line.

However, administrative expenses are expected to have weighted on margin expansion.  

Moreover, the first quarter is likely to have remained stressed due to excess investment income to account for the Part D plans that is now included in discontinued operations.

With respect to the surprise trend, Torchmark has surpassed expectations in only one of the last four quarters, resulting in a negative average surprise of 0.23%.

The company’s share price has been fluctuating over the last few days. We wait to see how the stock reacts to the quarter’s results.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Torchmark will beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the first quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or at least 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. But this is not the case here as elaborated below.

Zacks ESP: Torchmark has 0.00% Earnings ESP. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at $1.07 per share.

Zacks Rank: Torchmark has a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, a negative ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

The Sell-rated stocks (#4 or 5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies you may want to consider as these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:  

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc HIG has an Earnings ESP of +1.94% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter earnings results on Apr 28.

American Financial Group Inc AFG has an Earnings ESP of +4.13% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter earnings results on May 2.

Lincoln National Corporation LNC has an Earnings ESP of +0.67% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to report its first-quarter earnings results on May 4.
 

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LINCOLN NATL-IN (LNC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TORCHMARK CORP (TMK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HARTFORD FIN SV (HIG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AMER FINL GROUP (AFG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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