Unum Group (UNM) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday morning.
According to Zacks, “Unum Group’s premiums continue to increase, fueled by solid persistency levels in core business lines and a 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. It projects 2017 operating earnings to grow between 17% and 23% in 2018. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting the Unum U.K. results. Shares of Unum Group have underperformed the industry in a year’s time. Pertaining to quarterly results, Unum Group’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also improved year over year.”
UNM has been the topic of several other research reports. Langen Mcalenn reiterated a neutral rating on shares of Unum Group in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on Unum Group in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. They issued a hold rating and a $58.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded Unum Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. SunTrust Banks restated a buy rating and set a $69.00 price objective on shares of Unum Group in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Finally, B. Riley upgraded Unum Group from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $58.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $57.09.
Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.05. Unum Group had a return on equity of 10.43% and a net margin of 8.81%. The business had revenue of $2.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.84 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.99 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Unum Group will post 5.17 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 16th. Shareholders of record on Monday, January 29th were paid a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, January 26th. Unum Group’s payout ratio is currently 21.70%.
In other news, CEO Timothy Gerald Arnold sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.07, for a total transaction of $55,070.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Lisa G. Iglesias sold 8,459 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.83, for a total value of $463,806.97. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 28,288 shares of company stock worth $1,518,765 in the last 90 days. 0.53% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Unum Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $125,000. Pinebridge Investments L.P. raised its position in shares of Unum Group by 160.9% during the 4th quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. now owns 2,930 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $161,000 after purchasing an additional 1,807 shares during the period. Invictus RG acquired a new stake in shares of Unum Group during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $176,000. Lakeview Capital Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Unum Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $206,000. Finally, First City Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Unum Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $207,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.98% of the company’s stock.
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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