The CEO and president of Protective Life Corp (NYSE:PL), John D. Johns, sold more than 200,000 shares of company stock on August 14 for nearly $14 million. The shares sold for $69.24, and the total transaction amount was $13,944,797.
Gurus have not been active in PL since the end of the second quarter, when Mario Gabelli (Trades, Portfolio), Caxton Associates (Trades, Portfolio) and Jim Simons (Trades, Portfolio) increased their holdings and Jeremy Grantham (Trades, Portfolio) added the stock to his portfolio. Half a dozen gurus – Richard Pzena (Trades, Portfolio), John Keeley (Trades, Portfolio), RS Investment Management (Trades, Portfolio), Richard Snow (Trades, Portfolio), Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio) and Columbia Wanger (Trades, Portfolio) – sold or reduced their holdings in the company.
In the first half of 2014, PL reported $191.6 million or $2.36 per diluted share, compared to $181.5 million or $2.24 for the six months ended June 30, 2013. Shares in the company have been selling for all-time high prices in 2014.
In early June, PL announced that Tokyo-based Dai-ichi had agreed to acquire the company for $5.7 billion. Dai-ichi paid $70 per share for all outstanding PL shares, forming the world's 13th-largest insurance company with assets of $424 billion.
Prior to the acquisition, Dai-ichi had no operational presence in the U.S. PL will serve that purpose for Dai-ichi. Otherwise, there have been no discernible changes in company strategy, operations, distribution or employment. Leadership and management are unchanged.
PL recently reported its quarterly earnings at $108.0 million, or $1.33 per average diluted share, compared to $103.2 million, or $1.27 per average diluted share. PL had an after-tax operating income of $106.4 million or $1.31 per average diluted share, compared to $77.7 million or $0.96 per average diluted share in the year-ago period.
Also, the board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.24 per share that will be paid on September 2 to shareholders of record by the end of trading on August 18.
The financial services company was founded by a former Alabama governor in 1907 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.