Douglas Lane & Associates LLC lowered its holdings in Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) by 4.0% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,284,022 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 54,038 shares during the period. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC’s holdings in Metlife were worth $52,722,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in MET. FMR LLC raised its holdings in shares of Metlife by 9.2% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 46,737,949 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,037,775,000 after buying an additional 3,921,155 shares in the last quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Metlife during the 2nd quarter valued at about $254,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC raised its holdings in shares of Metlife by 51.5% during the 2nd quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 14,136 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $617,000 after buying an additional 4,803 shares in the last quarter. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp purchased a new position in shares of Metlife during the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,090,000. Finally, Verition Fund Management LLC bought a new position in Metlife during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $445,000. 77.14% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of MET stock opened at $45.05 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $44.28 billion, a PE ratio of 10.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.61 and a beta of 1.21. Metlife Inc has a fifty-two week low of $37.76 and a fifty-two week high of $55.21. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a quick ratio of 0.14 and a current ratio of 0.14.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.11. Metlife had a return on equity of 9.76% and a net margin of 7.62%. The company had revenue of $16.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.88 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.09 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts forecast that Metlife Inc will post 5.33 earnings per share for the current year.

Metlife announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, November 1st that permits the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase up to 4.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 5th will be given a dividend of $0.42 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 4th. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.73%. Metlife’s dividend payout ratio is presently 37.33%.

In other news, Director Carlos M. Gutierrez purchased 6,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 17th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $39.04 per share, for a total transaction of $249,856.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 4,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $182,238.72. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on MET shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Metlife from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 5th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $60.00 price target on Metlife and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 13th. Bank of America upgraded Metlife from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.06 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Sandler O’Neill upgraded Metlife from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $53.16.

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Metlife Profile

MetLife, Inc engages in the insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset management businesses. It operates through five segments: U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and MetLife Holdings. The company offers life, dental, group short- and long-term disability, individual disability, accidental death and dismemberment, vision, and accident and health coverages, as well as prepaid legal plans; administrative services-only arrangements to employers; and stable value products, including general and separate account guaranteed interest contracts, and private floating rate funding agreements.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Metlife (NYSE:MET)

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