Metlife (MET) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Metlife (NYSE:MET) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Thursday, January 18th. They currently have $58.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “MetLife's efforts to streamline its business (for the past many years) to focus on the ones with potential for growth and fixing or exiting businesses that do not create value is impressive. Its strong international operations and disciplined capital management should drive long-term growth. Though the company has lost value in a year time, it remains an attractive investment opportunity, given its Value Score of A and undervaluation relative to the industry it belongs to. However, persistent decline in MetLife’s revenues, due to lower premiums, investment income, and fees collected from Universal Life and investment type product, and other revenues for more than two years bothers us.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on Metlife in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. They issued a hold rating and a $55.00 target price for the company. Wells Fargo & Co set a $62.00 target price on Metlife and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, December 14th. Sandler O’Neill cut Metlife from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. ValuEngine lowered Metlife from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, B. Riley reissued a neutral rating on shares of Metlife in a research report on Monday, November 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $57.65.

Metlife (NYSE MET) traded up $0.01 on Thursday, reaching $44.62. The company had a trading volume of 9,886,366 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,940,000. Metlife has a one year low of $43.38 and a one year high of $55.91. The stock has a market cap of $46,950.00, a PE ratio of 97.00, a P/E/G ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 1.31. 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 firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Monday, February 5th will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.59%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 2nd. Metlife’s dividend payout ratio is currently 347.83%.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Metlife by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 73,196,079 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,700,792,000 after purchasing an additional 1,097,982 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 2.1% in 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 buying an additional 1,358,523 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 1.6% in 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 buying an additional 414,032 shares during the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 208.5% in the third quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 10,291,110 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $534,623,000 after buying an additional 6,954,917 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 10.3% in the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 6,625,997 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $335,010,000 after buying an additional 619,487 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.55% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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