Metlife (MET) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Metlife (NYSE:MET) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

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 topic of a number of other reports. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Metlife in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “conviction-buy” rating and a $61.00 price objective on the stock. B. Riley reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Metlife in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Metlife in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Metlife from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Metlife from $55.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.77.

Metlife (MET) traded up $0.45 during trading on Monday, reaching $53.85. 4,481,713 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,050,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.16 and a quick ratio of 0.16. Metlife has a 12 month low of $44.43 and a 12 month high of $55.91. The stock has a market cap of $56,670.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 117.07, a P/E/G ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 1.49.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.09 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.19. Metlife had a negative net margin of 0.75% and a positive return on equity of 8.81%. The company had revenue of $16.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.47 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.28 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Metlife will post 4.42 EPS for the current year.

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

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Aspen Investment Management Inc boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 0.7% during the second quarter. Aspen Investment Management Inc now owns 7,178 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $394,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Fairfield Bush & CO. boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 1.7% during the second quarter. Fairfield Bush & CO. now owns 6,150 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $338,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 6.0% during the second quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. now owns 4,682 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $257,000 after purchasing an additional 263 shares in the last quarter. Marietta Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 4.3% during the second quarter. Marietta Wealth Management LLC now owns 8,215 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $451,000 after purchasing an additional 339 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Buckingham Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 1.5% during the second quarter. Buckingham Capital Management Inc. now owns 28,424 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,562,000 after purchasing an additional 414 shares in the last quarter. 76.27% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Metlife

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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