Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The firm presently has a $58.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 10.90% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Unum Group have outperformed industry in a year's time. However, the company did not witness any earnings momentum for its 2017 and 2018 estimates over the last 60 days. Nonetheless, the company’s premiums continue to increase, fueled by solid persistency levels in core business lines and sturdy volume of sales, along with solid benefits experience. Acquisitions have provided an 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. A sustained favorable performance drives solid capital generation and strong financial flexibility aiding active capital deployment. Unum expects 2017 operating earnings to grow 5–8% over the 2016 level. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting the Unum U.K. results.”

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the company. BidaskClub raised Unum Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. ValuEngine raised Unum Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Sunday, July 30th. Finally, SunTrust Banks, Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.30.

Shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) traded up 1.28% on Thursday, hitting $52.30. The stock had a trading volume of 673,647 shares. The firm has a market cap of $11.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.60 and a beta of 1.59. Unum Group has a 12-month low of $34.83 and a 12-month high of $52.40. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $49.07 and a 200 day moving average of $47.43.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.01 by $0.04. Unum Group had a return on equity of 10.23% and a net margin of 8.57%. The business had revenue of $2.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.80 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.00 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Unum Group will post $4.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Unum Group news, Director Gloria C. Larson sold 2,460 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.23, for a total value of $123,565.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Pamela H. Godwin sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.71, for a total transaction of $126,775.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.53% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UNM. BB&T Investment Services Inc. acquired a new position in Unum Group in the second quarter valued at $100,000. Jacobi Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Unum Group in the second quarter valued at $159,000. Huntington National Bank boosted its stake in Unum Group by 25.8% in the second quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 3,417 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $160,000 after acquiring an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Unum Group by 3.2% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 4,366 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $205,000 after acquiring an additional 134 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Johnson Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in Unum Group by 4.7% in the first quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 4,446 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $208,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.34% of the company’s stock.

Unum Group Company Profile

Unum Group is a provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Company’s products include disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental and vision, and other related services. Its segments include Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate.

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Analyst Recommendations for Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)

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