Metlife (MET) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Metlife (NYSE:MET) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of MetLife have outperformed the industry in the last six months. We are impressed with the company’s efforts to streamline its business (for the past many years) to focus on the ones with potential for growth and on fixing or exiting businesses that do not create value. Its strong international operations and disciplined capital management should drive long-term growth. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 2.3% upward over the last 60 days. Nevertheless, 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 several other research reports. TheStreet downgraded shares of Metlife from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of Metlife in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. They set a conviction-buy rating and a $61.00 target price on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Metlife from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. UBS restated a neutral rating and set a $49.00 target price (down from $57.00) on shares of Metlife in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated an outperform rating and set a $60.00 target price (up from $56.00) on shares of Metlife in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Metlife has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $58.52.
Metlife (NYSE:MET) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.19. The business had revenue of $16.10 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.47 billion. Metlife had a negative net margin of 0.75% and a positive return on equity of 8.81%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.28 EPS. analysts forecast that Metlife will post 4.42 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 13th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 6th were paid a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 3rd. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.14%. Metlife’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -320.00%.
In related news, insider Christopher G. Townsend sold 82,731 shares of the 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 completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 49,660 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,711,436. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Christopher G. Townsend sold 55,712 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.29, for a total value of $3,024,604.48. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 25,181 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,367,076.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in Metlife by 71.4% during the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 3,672,729 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $201,778,000 after purchasing an additional 1,529,570 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Metlife by 5.2% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,555,656 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $195,348,000 after acquiring an additional 175,311 shares in the last quarter. PGGM Investments grew its stake in shares of Metlife by 2.3% during the 3rd quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 576,944 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $29,972,000 after acquiring an additional 12,978 shares in the last quarter. KBC Group NV grew its stake in shares of Metlife by 14.3% during the 2nd quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 1,263,802 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $69,433,000 after acquiring an additional 157,734 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. grew its stake in shares of Metlife by 189.7% during the 3rd quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. now owns 37,153 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,930,000 after acquiring an additional 24,330 shares in the last quarter. 76.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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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