Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Unum’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 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. Sustained favorable performance drives solid capital generation and strong financial flexibility aiding active capital deployment. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting Unum U.K. results. With respect to quarterly results, Unum’s third-quarter earnings per share beat expectations and improved year over year. Strong performances by Unum U.S. and Colonial Life were partially offset by underperformance of Unum U.K.”

UNM has been the subject of a number of other reports. Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on Unum Group in a research note on Friday, October 7th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $42.00 price objective for the company. Wells Fargo & Co. assumed coverage on Unum Group in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted their price target on Unum Group from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. RBC Capital Markets reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $43.00 price target (up previously from $36.00) on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Tuesday, November 15th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Unum Group from $35.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $37.71.

Analyst Recommendations for Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)

Shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) traded up 0.270% on Monday, hitting $42.665. The stock had a trading volume of 660,907 shares. The firm has a market cap of $9.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.195 and a beta of 1.50. Unum Group has a 12-month low of $23.99 and a 12-month high of $42.92. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $37.05 and its 200 day moving average price is $34.82.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $0.99 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.04. The firm earned $2.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.74 billion. Unum Group had a return on equity of 10.24% and a net margin of 8.29%. The firm’s revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.83 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Unum Group will post $3.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 18th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 31st were issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.88%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, October 27th. Unum Group’s dividend payout ratio is 20.94%.

In other news, Director Thomas R. Watjen sold 178,927 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.56, for a total transaction of $6,362,644.12. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CFO John F. Mcgarry sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.44, for a total value of $497,280.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in UNM. Quantbot Technologies LP increased its stake in shares of Unum Group by 457.7% in the second quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 89,512 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,845,000 after buying an additional 73,462 shares in the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its position in Unum Group by 53.0% in the second quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 392,336 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,472,000 after buying an additional 135,977 shares during the last quarter. AGF Investments Inc. raised its position in Unum Group by 17.8% in the second quarter. AGF Investments Inc. now owns 2,231,094 shares of the company’s stock valued at $70,912,000 after buying an additional 337,082 shares during the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. raised its position in Unum Group by 33.9% in the second quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 261,298 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,307,000 after buying an additional 66,208 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Unum Group by 52.6% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 43,734 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,352,000 after buying an additional 15,075 shares during the last quarter. 94.12% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Unum Group Company Profile

Unum Group is a provider of disability insurance products in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Company provides a portfolio of other insurance products, including employer and employee paid group benefits, life insurance and other related services. Its segments are Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:UNM

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