MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Sandler O’Neill from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

MET has been the subject of several other research reports. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price objective on shares of MetLife in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. UBS AG reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $49.00 price objective (down previously from $57.00) on shares of MetLife in a research report on Friday, September 1st. ValuEngine cut shares of MetLife from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 26th. J P Morgan Chase & Co began coverage on shares of MetLife in a research report on Monday, July 24th. They set a “hold” rating and a $78.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 target price on shares of MetLife in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. MetLife presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $58.40.

Shares of MetLife (MET) traded down $0.61 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $52.20. 4,853,100 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,040,548. The company has a current ratio of 0.16, a quick ratio of 0.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31. The company has a market capitalization of $54,930.01, a P/E ratio of 10.04, a P/E/G ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 1.51. MetLife has a twelve month low of $44.26 and a twelve month high of $55.91.

MetLife (NYSE:MET) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.09 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.90 by $0.19. MetLife had a negative net margin of 0.75% and a positive return on equity of 8.81%. The company had revenue of $16.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.47 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.28 earnings per share. MetLife’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that MetLife will post 4.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

MetLife announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, November 1st that permits the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other news, insider Christopher G. Townsend sold 55,712 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.29, for a total transaction of $3,024,604.48. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 25,181 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,367,076.49. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Christopher G. Townsend sold 82,731 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.60, for a total value of $4,517,112.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 49,660 shares in the company, valued at $2,711,436. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in MetLife by 2.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 69,957,359 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,843,457,000 after purchasing an additional 1,481,489 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of MetLife by 2.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 66,723,143 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,665,769,000 after acquiring an additional 1,358,523 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of MetLife by 1.4% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 49,020,964 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,589,297,000 after acquiring an additional 680,903 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its position in shares of MetLife by 1.6% during the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 25,704,204 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,412,189,000 after acquiring an additional 414,032 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of MetLife by 6.9% during the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 10,265,096 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $541,427,000 after acquiring an additional 664,918 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.79% of the company’s stock.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); MetLife Holdings, and Corporate & Other. Its U.S. segment is organized into Group Benefits, Retirement and Income Solutions and Property & Casualty businesses.

Analyst Recommendations for MetLife (NYSE:MET)

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