MetLife (MET) Receives “Buy” Rating from Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of MetLife (NYSE:MET) in a research report report published on Friday, March 16th. They currently have a $60.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

“We hosted investor meetings with MetLife today (March 15) at the company’s NYC headquarters. From MET were Steven Kandarian, President, Chairman & CEO; John Hele, EVP & CFO; and John Hall, SVP & Head of IR. Investors were focused on MET’s material weaknesses (MW), unit cost initiative (UCI), long term care reserves, Brighthouse exchange offer, and reinsurance opportunities with MetLife Holdings. To us, the investment case for MET remains unchanged – faster growth in less capital intensive and less volatile businesses should lower the company’s cost of equity, which in turn should allow MetLife to achieve a higher ROE spread as well as a higher valuation multiple. We reiterate our Outperform rating on MET, which is also our top pick.”,” the firm’s analyst commented.

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Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. UBS reaffirmed a neutral rating and set a $51.00 target price (down previously from $52.00) on shares of MetLife in a report on Friday, March 2nd. Goldman Sachs reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of MetLife in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of MetLife from $59.00 to $58.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a buy rating and set a $56.00 price target on shares of MetLife in a research report on Friday, February 23rd. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of MetLife from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $56.75.

MET traded down $0.76 during trading on Friday, reaching $45.27. 8,637,080 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,954,277. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, a quick ratio of 0.15 and a current ratio of 0.15. MetLife has a fifty-two week low of $43.38 and a fifty-two week high of $55.91. The firm has a market capitalization of $46,928.83, a PE ratio of 10.06, a P/E/G ratio of 0.74 and a beta of 1.24.

MetLife (NYSE:MET) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 13th. The financial services provider reported $0.64 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.05 by ($0.41). MetLife had a return on equity of 8.59% and a net margin of 5.69%. The business had revenue of $15.79 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.89 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.28 EPS. equities analysts forecast that MetLife will post 4.91 EPS for the current year.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in MetLife by 1.5% in 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 acquiring an additional 1,097,982 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in MetLife by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 10,504,468 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $529,964,000 after acquiring an additional 174,242 shares in the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. lifted its position in MetLife by 208.5% in the 3rd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 10,291,110 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $534,623,000 after acquiring an additional 6,954,917 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in MetLife by 10.3% in the 4th quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 6,625,997 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $335,010,000 after acquiring an additional 619,487 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TD Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in MetLife by 20.5% in the 3rd quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,268,938 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $325,671,000 after acquiring an additional 1,067,700 shares in the last quarter. 77.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About MetLife

MetLife, Inc, through its subsidiaries, 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.

Analyst Recommendations for MetLife (NYSE:MET)

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