Metlife (NYSE:MET) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday. The firm currently has a $58.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 9.21% 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.”

Several other research firms have also commented on MET. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $60.00 price objective (up from $56.00) on shares of Metlife in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Metlife from $55.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Argus lifted their price objective on shares of Metlife from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 6th. FBR & Co lowered shares of Metlife from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $53.00 to $52.00 in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Metlife from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $57.77.

Metlife (MET) opened at $53.11 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31, a quick ratio of 0.16 and a current ratio of 0.16. The company has a market cap of $55,890.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 115.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 1.49. Metlife has a one year low of $44.43 and a one year high of $55.91.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.09 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.19. The company had revenue of $16.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.47 billion. Metlife had a negative net margin of 0.75% and a positive return on equity of 8.81%. Metlife’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.28 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Metlife will post 4.4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MET. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. lifted its stake in Metlife by 208.5% in the third quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 10,291,110 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $534,623,000 after acquiring an additional 6,954,917 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Metlife by 2.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 69,957,359 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,843,457,000 after acquiring an additional 1,481,489 shares during the period. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership purchased a new stake in Metlife in the second quarter worth about $76,823,000. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Metlife by 2.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 66,723,143 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,665,769,000 after acquiring an additional 1,358,523 shares during the period. Finally, TD Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in Metlife by 20.5% in the third quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,268,938 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $325,671,000 after acquiring an additional 1,067,700 shares during the period. 76.27% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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Analyst Recommendations for Metlife (NYSE:MET)

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