Prudential plc (PUK) Is a Raging Bull You Don’t Want to Mess With!

Wall Street’s most bullish Prudential plc (NYSE:PUK) analysts are predicting the share price to blow past $63.35 per share during the next 12 months. The current median share price forecast by them is $51.75, suggesting that the stock could increase 23.27% in that time frame. The average price target of $51.61 calls for a nearly 22.94% increase in the stock price.

DFA International Core Equity Portfolio revealed as top hedge fund owner in Prudential plc (PUK) with a stake of over 528,759 PUK shares as of October 30, with a market value of approx. $21.06M as of today. The second largest holder, Carillon Ser Tr-Carillon Scout International Fund, with 322904 shares which equates to $12.99M worth of the stock. At third is Invesco ETF Tr-Invesco Intl Div Achievers, which stood pat with 258160 shares, a 0.02% position in Prudential plc, worth $10.38M. The insider holding in stood at 1.2% while institutions hold 1.6%.

Prudential plc (NYSE:PUK) rose 0.19% in recent trade and currently has a stock-market value of $53.55B. The shares finished at $41.98, after trading as low as $41.24 earlier in the session. It hit an intraday high Wednesday at $42.18. Trading activity significantly improved as the volume at ready counter increased to 258,990 shares versus 257,640 in average daily trading volume over the past 20 days. So far this year, the volume has averaged about 300,128 shares. The stock is now 26.03% above against its bear-market low of $33.31 on December 26, 2018. It has retreated -25.42% since it’s 52-week high of $52.65 reached in May. Now the market price is down -18.86% on the year and up 18.69% YTD.

PUK stock’s 50 day simple moving average (SMA 50) price is $43.15 and its 200-day simple moving average (SMA 200) price is $41.57. The company’s stock currently has a total float of 1.28B shares. Its weekly volatility is hovering around 1.7% and felt 1.21% volatility in price over a month. On the upside, the share price will test short term resistance at around $42.36. On a downside, the stock is likely to find some support, which begins at $41.42. The failure to get near-term support could push it to $40.86.

It had seen a positive analyst call from Evercore ISI, which upgraded the stock from In-line to Outperform on January 09. Analysts at Societe Generale, shed their positive views on January 08 by lowering it fromHold to Sell. The stock lost favor of Berenberg analysts who expressed their lack of confidence in it using a downgrade from Hold to Sell on March 29. JP Morgan analysts came out with bullish views on March 17 when the call was made. They think the stock is now Neutral compared to to their prior call for Underweight.

When looking at valuations, Prudential plc (PUK) has a pricey P/E of 13.8x as compared to industry average of 13.44x. Moreover, it trades for 9.19 times the next 12 months of expected earnings. Also, it is trading at rather expensive levels at just over 2.41x price/book and 1.61x price/sales. Compared to others, Prudential plc is in a different league with regards to profitability, having net margins of 11.8%. To put some perspective around this, the industry’s average net margin is 6.49%. PUK’s ROE is 18.6%, which is also considerably better than the industry’s ROE of 5.31%.