Unum Group (UNM) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research
Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Unum’s premiums continue to grow in core businesses with better margins and stable benefits experience. Acquisitions have also been additional support. Starmount Life Insurance Company buyout gave access to growth opportunities in the dental market, which is in sync with its strategy to focus more on the employee benefits business. Sustained favorable performance drives solid capital generation and strong financial flexibility aiding active capital deployment. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting Unum UK results. Also, performances at the Closed Block and Corporate segment have been disappointing over the past few quarters on lower premium stemming from expected policy terminations and maturities. Our proven model cannot conclusively say if Unum will beat expectation when it reports third quarter results on Oct 26 as Zacks Rank #3 combined with Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes prediction difficult.”
Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on UNM. Bank of America Corp. lowered Unum Group from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Evercore ISI started coverage on Unum Group in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. They set a “sell” rating and a $29.00 target price on the stock. Citigroup Inc. cut their target price on Unum Group from $35.00 to $33.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Deutsche Bank AG cut their target price on Unum Group from $38.00 to $33.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, FBR & Co lowered Unum Group from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $31.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $36.46.
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Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) traded up 0.30% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $36.48. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 673,871 shares. Unum Group has a 12-month low of $23.99 and a 12-month high of $37.26. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $35.50 and its 200 day moving average is $33.94. The stock has a market cap of $8.56 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.05 and a beta of 1.50.
Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.05. Unum Group had a return on equity of 10.37% and a net margin of 8.07%. The business had revenue of $2.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.75 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.90 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Unum Group will post $3.86 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 18th. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 31st will be paid a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.20%. Unum Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 21.98%.
In related news, Director Thomas R. Watjen sold 40,000 shares of Unum Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.24, for a total value of $1,329,600.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.62% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. HBK Investments L P increased its stake in Unum Group by 168.2% in the first quarter. HBK Investments L P now owns 17,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $547,000 after buying an additional 11,100 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Unum Group by 0.7% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,954,791 shares of the company’s stock worth $60,317,000 after buying an additional 12,655 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Unum Group by 261.8% in the first quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 237,309 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,339,000 after buying an additional 171,725 shares during the period. AXA acquired a new stake in Unum Group during the first quarter worth $36,262,000. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its stake in Unum Group by 3.7% in the first quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 147,661 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,212,000 after buying an additional 5,300 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.60% of the company’s stock.
Unum Group Company Profile
Unum Group is a provider of disability insurance products in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Company provides a portfolio of other insurance products, including employer and employee paid group benefits, life insurance and other related services. Its segments are Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate.
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