Metlife (MET) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Metlife (NYSE:MET) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning.
According to Zacks, “MetLife has been significantly performing well on the back of prudent underwriting and expense management. Its efforts to streamline business, only to focus on core business are really impressive. Its revenues grew in 2017 and first half of 2018 after declining for two years and the trend is likely to continue. Its strong international operations and disciplined capital management should drive long-term growth. However, the company’s exposure to catastrophe losses and investment in efficiency programs will put pressure on margins. Shares have underperformed its industry in year. Moreover, the company has witnessed its 2018 estimates move down in the last seven days. A Zacks Rank #3 and Earnings ESP of -1.00% makes surprise prediction difficult as it reports third quarter results on Nov 1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for third quarter is pegged at $1.26, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 15.6%.”
A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Metlife in a research report on Thursday, September 27th. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on shares of Metlife from $53.00 to $52.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 11th. Barclays reduced their target price on shares of Metlife from $60.00 to $57.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 9th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their target price on shares of Metlife from $67.00 to $63.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 17th. Finally, UBS Group upped their target price on shares of Metlife from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, October 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $55.00.
Metlife (NYSE:MET) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $21.22 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.65 billion. Metlife had a net margin of 6.12% and a return on equity of 9.17%. The company’s revenue was up 36.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.04 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Metlife will post 5.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, Chairman Steven A. Kandarian sold 85,683 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.93, for a total value of $4,021,103.19. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 585,005 shares in the company, valued at approximately $27,454,284.65. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Steven A. Kandarian sold 42,805 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total transaction of $2,013,119.15. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 559,097 shares in the company, valued at approximately $26,294,331.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Mount Yale Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Metlife during the 1st quarter valued at about $108,000. Kaizen Advisory LLC lifted its stake in shares of Metlife by 148.0% in the 2nd quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 2,515 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 1,501 shares during the period. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Metlife in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $110,000. FNY Investment Advisers LLC bought a new position in shares of Metlife in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $112,000. Finally, LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA bought a new position in shares of Metlife in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $130,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.47% of the company’s stock.
MetLife, Inc engages in the insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset management businesses. It operates through five segments: U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and MetLife Holdings. The company offers life, dental, group short- and long-term disability, individual disability, accidental death and dismemberment, vision, and accident and health coverages, as well as prepaid legal plans; administrative services-only arrangements to employers; and stable value products, including general and separate account guaranteed interest contracts, and private floating rate funding agreements.
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