MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “MetLife remains exposed to headwinds like low interest rates, adverse foreign exchange, taxes, regulatory uncertainty surrounding its SIFI designation, and stiff competition. The company's earnings estimates for 2016 has been revised down by 3.1% to $4.62 over the past 60 days. The same for 2017 is down 1% to $5.67 over the same time frame. Nevertheless, consistent inorganic growth via acquisitions and divestitures allow it to focus on core growth areas, which in turn, have been paving the way for long-term success. The separation of the company’s retail unit will reduce its risk exposure to equity and interest rates. The company’s ongoing efforts to reduce expenses will cushion its bottom line in the long term. In addition, the company maintains a diversified business mix and is one of the strongest brands in the world. Its strong balance sheet, improved cash balance and lower debt level are other positives.”
MET has been the subject of several other reports. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on MetLife in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. They set a “buy” rating and a $52.00 price target for the company. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price target on shares of MetLife in a report on Saturday, October 8th. Citigroup Inc. reduced their price target on MetLife from $46.00 to $42.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price target on shares of MetLife in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of MetLife in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $51.95.
MetLife (NYSE:MET) opened at 46.80 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $51.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.30 and a beta of 1.84. The company has a 50-day moving average of $44.78 and a 200 day moving average of $43.27. MetLife has a 12-month low of $35.00 and a 12-month high of $52.45.
MetLife (NYSE:MET) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.52. The firm had revenue of $17 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $17.35 billion. MetLife had a net margin of 6.49% and a return on equity of 6.18%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.56 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that MetLife will post $4.64 earnings per share for the current year.
In other news, EVP Maria R. Morris sold 8,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $396,000.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 116,409 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,238,405. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Maria R. Morris sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.96, for a total value of $85,920.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 109,273 shares in the company, valued at $4,694,368.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MET. Willis Investment Counsel increased its position in shares of MetLife by 0.7% in the first quarter. Willis Investment Counsel now owns 113,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,970,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. BB&T Securities LLC increased its position in shares of MetLife by 15.7% in the first quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 815,104 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,815,000 after buying an additional 110,773 shares in the last quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of MetLife by 49.2% in the first quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC now owns 123,618 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,432,000 after buying an additional 40,760 shares in the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of MetLife by 63.2% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 757,586 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,287,000 after buying an additional 293,263 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quadrature Capital Ltd acquired a new position in shares of MetLife during the first quarter worth about $5,306,000. 74.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
MetLife, Inc (MetLife) is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include Retail; Group, Voluntary & Worksite Benefits; Corporate Benefit Funding; Latin America (collectively, the Americas); Asia, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
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