Unum Group (UNM) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Unum Group have outperformed industry in a year's time. Moreover, the company has witnessed its 2017 and 2018 estimates moving north over the last 60 days. The company’s premiums continue to increase, fueled by solid persistency levels in core business lines and sturdy volume of sales, along with solid benefits experience. Acquisitions have provided an additional support. Starmount Life Insurance Company buyout gave access to growth opportunities in the dental market, which is in sync with its strategy to focus more on the employee benefits business. A sustained favorable performance drives solid capital generation and strong financial flexibility aiding active capital deployment. Unum expects 2017 operating earnings to grow 5–8% over the 2016 level. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting the Unum U.K. results.”
Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on shares of Unum Group from $56.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. BidaskClub cut shares of Unum Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Sunday, July 30th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Unum Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $46.56.
Shares of Unum Group (NYSE UNM) opened at 48.97 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $11.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.79 and a beta of 1.57. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $48.84 and a 200-day moving average price of $47.20. Unum Group has a one year low of $33.98 and a one year high of $51.43.
Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $2.81 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.80 billion. Unum Group had a net margin of 8.57% and a return on equity of 10.23%. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.00 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Unum Group will post $4.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Unum Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, May 25th that allows the company to repurchase $750.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire up to 7.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Unum Group news, EVP Breege A. Farrell sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.47, for a total value of $682,050.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Gloria C. Larson sold 2,460 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.23, for a total transaction of $123,565.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 19,960 shares of company stock valued at $932,391 in the last three months. 0.53% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Sentry Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Unum Group by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 18,223 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $850,000 after buying an additional 202 shares during the period. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Unum Group during the 2nd quarter worth $246,000. Cambridge Financial Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Unum Group by 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Financial Group Inc. now owns 120,798 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,633,000 after purchasing an additional 2,918 shares during the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Unum Group during the 2nd quarter worth $209,000. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Unum Group by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC now owns 27,106 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,264,000 after purchasing an additional 937 shares during the last quarter. 92.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
About Unum Group
Unum Group is a provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Company’s products include disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental and vision, and other related services. Its segments include Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate.
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