Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $47.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 11.85% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Unum Group outperformed the Zacks-categorized Accident & Health industry. 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.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on UNM. FBR & Co boosted their target price on shares of Unum Group from $31.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday. Wells Fargo & Co. began coverage on shares of Unum Group in a research note on Thursday, September 22nd. They issued a “market perform” rating for the company. 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. Compass Point cut shares of Unum Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $42.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Unum Group from $36.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 15th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Unum Group has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $38.67.

Analyst Recommendations for Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)

Shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) opened at 42.02 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.75 billion, a PE ratio of 11.03 and a beta of 1.50. The company’s 50-day moving average is $38.20 and its 200-day moving average is $35.23. Unum Group has a 12 month low of $23.99 and a 12 month high of $43.47.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 18th. Investors of record on Monday, October 31st were issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, October 27th. Unum Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.94%.

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In related news, EVP Christopher J. Jerome sold 8,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.49, for a total transaction of $331,920.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO John F. Mcgarry sold 12,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.44, for a total transaction of $497,280.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of UNM. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Unum Group by 0.4% in the third quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 8,690 shares of the company’s stock worth $306,000 after buying an additional 32 shares in the last quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division boosted its position in shares of Unum Group by 0.4% in the third quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division now owns 12,691 shares of the company’s stock worth $448,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Ifrah Financial Services Inc. boosted its position in shares of Unum Group by 1.0% in the second quarter. Ifrah Financial Services Inc. now owns 7,413 shares of the company’s stock worth $236,000 after buying an additional 76 shares in the last quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc boosted its position in shares of Unum Group by 0.4% in the second quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 22,883 shares of the company’s stock worth $727,000 after buying an additional 95 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Carret Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Unum Group by 1.3% in the second quarter. Carret Asset Management LLC now owns 12,025 shares of the company’s stock worth $382,000 after buying an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.81% of the company’s stock.

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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