Shares of MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET) shot up 5.6% during trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $42.78 and last traded at $42.76, with a volume of 10,045,566 shares. The stock had previously closed at $40.48.

A number of research firms have recently commented on MET. Deutsche Bank AG cut MetLife from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $47.00 to $44.00 in a research report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded MetLife from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Citigroup Inc. dropped their price target on MetLife from $46.00 to $42.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Evercore ISI began coverage on MetLife in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $52.00 price target on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of MetLife in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $52.26.

The company has a market cap of $46.81 billion and a PE ratio of 9.14. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $41.86 and its 200-day moving average price is $42.78.

MetLife (NYSE:MET) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 4th. The company reported $1.20 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.38 by $0.18. The company had revenue of $16.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $17.16 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.44 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that MetLife Inc. will post $5.40 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 13th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 8th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 4th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.75%.

In other MetLife news, EVP Maria R. Morris sold 2,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $99,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 109,132 shares in the company, valued at $4,910,940. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Maria R. Morris sold 4,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.46, for a total transaction of $190,932.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 108,932 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,952,048.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Ashburton Jersey Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of MetLife during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,603,000. Affinity Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of MetLife by 20.5% in the fourth quarter. Affinity Investment Advisors LLC now owns 24,870 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,199,000 after buying an additional 4,230 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in shares of MetLife by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 563,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,161,000 after buying an additional 27,975 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR raised its stake in shares of MetLife by 6.8% in the fourth quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 33,678 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,624,000 after buying an additional 2,149 shares during the last quarter. Finally, I.G. Investment Management LTD. raised its stake in shares of MetLife by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. now owns 65,432 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,154,000 after buying an additional 2,010 shares during the last quarter.

MetLife, Inc (MetLife) is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include Retail; Group, Voluntary & Worksite Benefits; Corporate Benefit Funding; Latin America (collectively, the Americas); Asia, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

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