Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, July 13th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Unum Group underperformed the Zacks categorized Accident & Health industry year to date. The company did not witness any earnings momentum over the last 60 days. Exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting Unum U.K. results. Nonetheless 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. Unum expects 2017 operating earnings to grow 3–6% over the 2016 level.”

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub raised Unum Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on Unum Group from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.67.

Unum Group (UNM) opened at 50.75 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.22 and a beta of 1.56. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $47.46 and its 200 day moving average price is $46.79. Unum Group has a 52-week low of $32.64 and a 52-week high of $51.43.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $2.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.80 billion. Unum Group had a return on equity of 10.23% and a net margin of 8.57%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.00 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate 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 share buyback program on Thursday, May 25th that authorizes the company to repurchase $750.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to repurchase up to 7.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Unum Group news, Director Gloria C. Larson sold 2,460 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.23, for a total transaction of $123,565.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Breege A. Farrell sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.47, for a total value of $682,050.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.53% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Moody Lynn & Lieberson LLC boosted its stake in Unum Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. Moody Lynn & Lieberson LLC now owns 10,530 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $494,000 after buying an additional 28 shares in the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Unum Group by 1.2% in the first quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 2,434 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 29 shares during the period. HM Payson & Co. boosted its stake in shares of Unum Group by 0.5% in the second quarter. HM Payson & Co. now owns 12,527 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $584,000 after buying an additional 62 shares during the period. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Unum Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. now owns 26,338 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,228,000 after buying an additional 81 shares during the period. Finally, Louisiana State Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Unum Group by 0.7% in the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 14,200 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $662,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. 93.89% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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