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

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.”

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Unum Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Unum Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Barclays PLC increased their price target on shares of Unum Group from $56.00 to $57.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Unum Group in a report on Sunday, July 30th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Unum Group in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $46.56.

Unum Group (NYSE UNM) traded up 0.76% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $48.80. 150,852 shares of the stock traded hands. Unum Group has a 1-year low of $33.98 and a 1-year high of $51.43. The stock has a market cap of $11.01 billion, a PE ratio of 11.75 and a beta of 1.57. The company has a 50-day moving average of $48.87 and a 200-day moving average of $47.23.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $2.81 billion during 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 prior year, the firm earned $1.00 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Unum Group will post $4.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Unum Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, May 25th that allows the company to repurchase $750.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire up to 7.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other news, Director Pamela H. Godwin sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.71, for a total value of $126,775.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Gloria C. Larson sold 2,460 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were 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. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 19,960 shares of company stock valued at $932,391. Corporate insiders own 0.53% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in UNM. BB&T Investment Services Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Unum Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $100,000. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its stake in shares of Unum Group by 1.2% in the 1st 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 in the last quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Unum Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $159,000. Huntington National Bank raised its stake in shares of Unum Group by 25.8% in the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 3,417 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $160,000 after buying an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Unum Group by 3.2% in the 1st quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 4,366 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $205,000 after buying an additional 134 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.34% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)

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