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Why Is Prudential (PRU) Up 4.9% Since Last Earnings Report?

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Prudential (PRU). Shares have added about 4.9% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Prudential due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Prudential Q2 Earnings Beat, Revenues Miss Estimates

Prudential Financial, Inc.’s second-quarter 2021 operating net income of $3.79 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 24.7%. Moreover, the bottom line increased two-fold year over year owing to higher contributions from U.S. Businesses and International Businesses.

Operational Update

Total revenues of $13.1 billion increased 1.3% year over year on higher net investment income, asset management fees, commissions and other income. However, the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.3%.

Total benefits and expenses of $11.2 billion decreased 6.7% year over year in the quarter. This decline was mainly on lower insurance and annuity benefits, interest credited to policyholders' account balances, interest expense, amortization of acquisition costs, general and administrative expenses

Quarterly Segment Update

Prudential Global Investment Management (PGIM) reported adjusted operating income of $315 million, which declined 2.8% year over year. The results reflect higher asset management fees due to an increase in average account values that were more than offset by lower other related revenues, driven by a decrease in seed and co-investment income as well as higher expenses.

PGIM assets under management improved 8% year over year to a record high of $1.511 trillion at the end of the reported quarter. The upside was driven by market appreciation, positive third-party net flows and a strong investment performance.

U.S. Businesses’ adjusted operating income was $1.088 billion, which increased more than two-fold from the year-ago quarter’s level. The upside reflects higher net investment spread results, driven by higher variable investment income and higher net fee income, backed primarily by equity market appreciation. It was partially offset by less favorable underwriting results.

Assurance IQ incurred an adjusted operating loss of $38 million, wider than the loss of $16 million in the year-ago quarter. This reflects a 92% increase in revenues, which was more than offset by escalated expenses to support business growth.

International delivered an adjusted operating income of $803 million, up 16.2% from the year-earlier period’s figure. This increase was owing to net favorable comparative impact from annual assumption update and other refinements of $80 million. Excluding this item, the upside was due toadied by higher net investment spread results, business growth and lower expenses, partially offset by lower earnings from joint venture investments and less favorable underwriting results.

Corporate and Other incurred an adjusted operating loss of $300 million, narrower than the loss of $541 million reported a year ago. This improvement reflects lower expenses.

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents of $15.1 billion at the quarter end increased 10.5% from the 2020-end level. Total debt balance of $20.6 billion on Jun 30, 2021 dipped 0.3% from the level as of 2020 end. As of Jun 30, 2021, Prudential’s assets under management increased 7.8% year over year to $1.7 trillion.

Adjusted book value per common share, a measure of the company’s net worth, came in at $104.39 as of Jun 30, 2021, up 13.4% year over year. Operating return on average equity was 14.9% in the second quarter, expanding 710 basis points year over year.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in estimates revision. The consensus estimate has shifted -5.92% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Prudential has a poor Growth Score of F, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with a B. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the top 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Prudential has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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