Unum Group (UNM) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday morning. They currently have $45.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Unum Group’s premiums continue to increase, fueled by high persistency levels in core business lines and a sturdy volume of sales along with solid benefits experience. Acquisitions have provided an additional boost. Continued rollout of dental product and geographic expansion as acquired dental insurance businesses growing foothold the United States and U.K. are paying off. A sustained favorable performance drives sound capital generation and a strong financial flexibility, thereby aiding active capital deployment. It projects operating earnings to grow between 17% and 23% in 2018. Unum witnessed its estimates for 2018 and 2019 to move north by a penny in the last 30 days. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind hurting the Unum U.K. results. Shares of Unum Group have underperformed the industry in a year’s time. A Zacks Rank #2 and Earnings ESP of -0.73% makes surprise prediction difficult.”

Separately, Barclays lowered their target price on Unum Group from $65.00 to $55.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 9th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $52.69.

NYSE:UNM traded up $0.41 on Friday, hitting $37.32. 3,475,607 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,963,262. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 0.18 and a quick ratio of 0.18. Unum Group has a 1 year low of $34.57 and a 1 year high of $58.73. The stock has a market cap of $8.54 billion, a PE ratio of 8.70, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.85 and a beta of 1.36.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last released its earnings results on Monday, July 30th. The financial services provider reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.03. Unum Group had a return on equity of 11.19% and a net margin of 9.42%. The company had revenue of $2.89 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.90 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.05 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Unum Group will post 5.11 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, EVP Breege A. Farrell sold 7,500 shares of Unum Group stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.66, for a total transaction of $304,950.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Montecito Bank & Trust lifted its holdings in Unum Group by 38.6% in the 3rd quarter. Montecito Bank & Trust now owns 11,799 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $460,000 after purchasing an additional 3,283 shares during the last quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Unum Group in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $306,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue lifted its holdings in Unum Group by 3.9% in the 3rd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 61,639 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,407,000 after purchasing an additional 2,299 shares during the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. acquired a new stake in Unum Group in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $707,000. Finally, Fulton Bank N.A. lifted its holdings in Unum Group by 30.4% in the 3rd quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 19,382 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $757,000 after purchasing an additional 4,516 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.19% of the company’s stock.

About Unum Group

Unum Group, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection benefit solutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, and internationally. It operates through Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, and Closed Block segments. The company offers group long-term and short-term disability, group life, and accidental death and dismemberment products; supplemental and voluntary products, such as individual disability, voluntary benefits, and dental and vision products; and accident, sickness, disability, life, and cancer and critical illness products.

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