MetLife Inc. (MET) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research
MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released 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.”
A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on MET. Wells Fargo & Co. reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of MetLife in a report on Friday, September 23rd. Sandler O’Neill upgraded shares of MetLife from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 27th. TheStreet downgraded shares of MetLife from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 24th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of MetLife in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Finally, FBR & Co increased their price target on shares of MetLife from $51.00 to $54.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, August 29th. Eight 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 an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $51.95.
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MetLife (NYSE:MET) opened at 46.89 on Monday. MetLife has a 52-week low of $35.00 and a 52-week high of $52.45. The firm has a market capitalization of $51.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.32 and a beta of 1.84. The company’s 50-day moving average is $44.51 and its 200-day moving average is $43.24.
MetLife (NYSE:MET) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.83 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.52. MetLife had a return on equity of 6.18% and a net margin of 6.49%. The firm earned $17 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $17.35 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.56 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that MetLife will post $4.64 earnings per share for the current year.
In other news, EVP Maria R. Morris sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.96, for a total transaction of $85,920.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 109,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,694,368.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Maria R. Morris sold 8,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total transaction of $396,000.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 116,409 shares in the company, valued at $5,238,405. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management bought a new stake in shares of MetLife during the second quarter worth about $110,000. ClariVest Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of MetLife by 0.3% in the second quarter. ClariVest Asset Management LLC now owns 2,806 shares of the company’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. Manchester Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of MetLife by 0.3% in the second quarter. Manchester Capital Management LLC now owns 2,891 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the period. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. raised its stake in shares of MetLife by 51.5% in the third quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 2,625 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 892 shares during the period. Finally, First New York Securities LLC NY bought a new stake in shares of MetLife during the second quarter worth about $119,000. 74.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
MetLife Company Profile
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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