Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning. The firm currently has $56.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

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 research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Unum Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. Barclays PLC boosted their price target on shares of Unum Group from $56.00 to $57.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a hold rating on shares of Unum Group in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a hold rating on shares of Unum Group in a research note on Sunday, July 30th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Unum Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Unum Group presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $48.50.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) opened at 50.12 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $11.31 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.07 and a beta of 1.57. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $48.82 and a 200-day moving average of $47.20. Unum Group has a 52 week low of $33.98 and a 52 week high of $51.43.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.01 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $2.81 billion for 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 period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.00 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Unum Group will post $4.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Pamela H. Godwin sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.71, for a total transaction of $126,775.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Gloria C. Larson sold 2,460 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was 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. 0.53% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Achmea Investment Management B.V. purchased a new stake in Unum Group during the 1st quarter worth approximately $3,930,000. Aviva PLC increased its stake in Unum Group by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 144,311 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,731,000 after buying an additional 690 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in Unum Group by 30.5% during the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 3,109,206 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $144,982,000 after buying an additional 727,487 shares during the period. Atwood & Palmer Inc. purchased a new stake in Unum Group during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $5,538,000. Finally, KCG Holdings Inc. increased its stake in Unum Group by 84.9% during the 1st quarter. KCG Holdings Inc. now owns 21,265 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $997,000 after buying an additional 9,766 shares during the period. 92.34% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Unum Group Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)

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