Metlife (MET) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Metlife (NYSE:MET) 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 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 8.61% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “MetLife's efforts to streamline its business (for the past many years) to focus on the ones with potential for growth and fixing or exiting businesses that do not create value is impressive. Its strong international operations and disciplined capital management should drive long-term growth. Though the company has lost value in a year time, it remains an attractive investment opportunity, given its Value Score of A and undervaluation relative to the industry it belongs to. However, persistent decline in MetLife’s revenues, due to lower premiums, investment income, and fees collected from Universal Life and investment type product, and other revenues for more than two years bothers us.”

MET has been the subject of several other research reports. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on Metlife in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “conviction-buy” rating and a $61.00 price target for the company. B. Riley reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Metlife in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Metlife in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. ValuEngine cut Metlife from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Metlife from $55.00 to $56.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $57.77.

Shares of Metlife (MET) traded up $0.45 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $53.40. The company had a trading volume of 6,645,043 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,050,000. The company has a market cap of $56,190.00, a PE ratio of 116.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 1.49. Metlife has a 1-year low of $44.43 and a 1-year high of $55.91. The company has a current ratio of 0.16, a quick ratio of 0.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.09 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.19. The business had revenue of $16.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.47 billion. Metlife had a positive return on equity of 8.81% and a negative net margin of 0.75%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.28 EPS. analysts predict that Metlife will post 4.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Christopher G. Townsend sold 55,712 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.29, for a total transaction of $3,024,604.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 25,181 shares in the company, valued at $1,367,076.49. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Christopher G. Townsend sold 82,731 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.60, for a total value of $4,517,112.60. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 49,660 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,711,436. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MET. Beach Investment Management LLC. acquired a new position in shares of Metlife during the second quarter worth approximately $1,471,000. Fiduciary Trust Co. increased its position in shares of Metlife by 15.1% during the second quarter. Fiduciary Trust Co. now owns 12,077 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $664,000 after purchasing an additional 1,580 shares during the period. WMS Partners LLC increased its position in shares of Metlife by 4.4% during the second quarter. WMS Partners LLC now owns 4,429 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $243,000 after purchasing an additional 188 shares during the period. Freestone Capital Holdings LLC increased its position in shares of Metlife by 3.1% during the second quarter. Freestone Capital Holdings LLC now owns 22,746 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,250,000 after purchasing an additional 678 shares during the period. Finally, IFM Investors Pty Ltd increased its position in shares of Metlife by 114.8% during the second quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 25,375 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,394,000 after purchasing an additional 13,560 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 76.27% of the company’s stock.

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Metlife Company Profile

MetLife, Inc is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); MetLife Holdings, and Corporate & Other. Its U.S. segment is organized into Group Benefits, Retirement and Income Solutions and Property & Casualty businesses.

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