Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Metlife (NYSE:MET) to “Hold”
Metlife (NYSE:MET) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $52.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 5.05% from the company’s current price.
According to Zacks, “MetLife’s shares have outperformed its industry, year to date. It has been performing well led by prudent underwriting and expense management. Its efforts to streamline business and focus on core operations are impressive. Acquisitions made by the company will diversify its business and aid inorganic growth. Its disciplined capital deployment is expected to drive long-term growth and create wealth for shareholders. However, its exposure to catastrophe loss remains a concern. Investment in efficiency programs will likely put pressure on margins. Also, the company's net investment income might continue to decline in 2019 due to lower interest rates, which will likely pressurize investment yields.”
A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Metlife from $54.00 to $53.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 20th. UBS Group raised their price objective on Metlife from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 10th. B. Riley restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Metlife in a research note on Tuesday, October 15th. Citigroup decreased their target price on Metlife from $42.00 to $41.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, September 13th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Metlife in a research report on Monday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.61.
Metlife (NYSE:MET) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 30th. The financial services provider reported $1.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.13). Metlife had a return on equity of 8.82% and a net margin of 10.82%. The business had revenue of $16.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $16.37 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.38 EPS. Metlife’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Metlife will post 5.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Aperio Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Metlife by 11.7% in the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 563,376 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $27,983,000 after acquiring an additional 58,966 shares in the last quarter. United Services Automobile Association raised its position in shares of Metlife by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 1,124,188 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $55,838,000 after purchasing an additional 5,239 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in shares of Metlife by 14.3% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 304,998 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $15,147,000 after purchasing an additional 38,109 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Metlife by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 72,819,515 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,616,945,000 after purchasing an additional 1,385,433 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IFM Investors Pty Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 56.3% during the 3rd quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 88,404 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,169,000 after buying an additional 31,851 shares during the last quarter. 74.59% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
MetLife, Inc engages in the insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset management businesses. It operates through five segments: U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and MetLife Holdings. The company offers life, dental, group short- and long-term disability, individual disability, accidental death and dismemberment, vision, and accident and health coverages, as well as prepaid legal plans; administrative services-only arrangements to employers; and stable value products, including general and separate account guaranteed interest contracts, and private floating rate funding agreements.
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