Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $3.50 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 12.18% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Genworth has agreed to be acquired by China Oceanwide. The merger will consolidate Genworth’s financial position in the mortgage insurance and long term care insurance markets. Also, it will remain committed toward its key financial priorities of strengthening the balance sheet and stabilizing and improving ratings over time, particularly in its U.S. MI business. It is intensifying focus on streamlining and rationalizing business to mainly improve performance, enhance financial and strategic flexibility. However, new products and pricing changes in the U.S. Life Insurance Division implemented over the past couple of years led to lower sales for Genworth. Shares of Genworth have underperformed the industry in a year’s time.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine cut shares of Genworth Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Genworth Financial in a research note on Wednesday, November 29th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $4.00 target price on shares of Genworth Financial in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, BTIG Research reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Genworth Financial in a research note on Saturday, September 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $3.75.

Genworth Financial (NYSE GNW) traded down $0.09 on Wednesday, hitting $3.12. 5,297,600 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 5,682,283. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.28. Genworth Financial has a 1 year low of $3.01 and a 1 year high of $4.23. The firm has a market cap of $1,560.00, a PE ratio of 4.39, a P/E/G ratio of 0.76 and a beta of 2.81.

Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The financial services provider reported $0.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.20 by ($0.05). Genworth Financial had a net margin of 3.88% and a return on equity of 1.57%. The firm had revenue of $2.22 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.12 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned ($0.81) earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Genworth Financial will post 0.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio acquired a new position in Genworth Financial during the third quarter worth $1,204,000. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in Genworth Financial by 4.3% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 4,496,028 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $17,310,000 after acquiring an additional 183,628 shares during the period. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. raised its position in Genworth Financial by 11.2% during the third quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 286,645 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,104,000 after acquiring an additional 28,892 shares during the period. Point72 Asset Management L.P. acquired a new position in Genworth Financial during the third quarter worth $880,000. Finally, Litespeed Management L.L.C. raised its position in Genworth Financial by 18.0% during the third quarter. Litespeed Management L.L.C. now owns 3,435,094 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $13,225,000 after acquiring an additional 525,000 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.70% of the company’s stock.

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Genworth Financial Company Profile

Genworth Financial, Inc (Genworth) is a financial security company. The Company provides insurance, wealth management, investment and financial solutions. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had more than 15 million customers, with a presence in more than 25 countries. The Company operates in Insurance, Mortgage Insurance and Corporate and Runoff.

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