Prudential Sells Company Stock in Pension Fund

March 23, 2004 ( - Prudential Financial Inc has sold off the company stock holdings in its pension plan to diversify the plan's assets and cut administrative costs.

Prudential sold $103 million worth of company stock over a number of months, concluding in September 2003.   The roughly 3.6 million shares of Prudential stock represented 1.2% of the firm’s pension plan total assets, according to a disclosure in Prudential’s annual report cited by Reuters.  

The selloff by the Newark, New Jersey based life insurance company came right before Prudential’s stock went on an upswing.  Since September 30, 2003 – the point at which the pension plan had sold all of its Prudential shares – the company’s stock price has gone up 20%. If the pension plan had not divested its Prudential stake, the shares would now be worth about $163 million.

Prudential said the move was not indicative of the company’s feeling about its own stock price, rather to rebalance the firm’s pension portfolio.   Prudential spokesman Mike Hanretta told Reuters the company still has holdings in Prudential stock indirectly through index mutual funds.   Proceeds from the stock sale were reinvested in various securities.