Metlife (MET) Shares Gap Up to $43.60

Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) gapped up prior to trading on Monday . The stock had previously closed at $43.34, but opened at $43.60. Metlife shares last traded at $44.37, with a volume of 2919847 shares traded.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on MET. Zacks Investment Research cut Metlife from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. UBS Group upped their price objective on Metlife from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, October 8th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $60.00 price objective on Metlife and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Sandler O’Neill restated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Metlife in a research note on Thursday, August 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on Metlife from $53.00 to $52.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.17.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.16 and a quick ratio of 0.15. The company has a market capitalization of $43.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.66 and a beta of 1.30.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.27 by $0.11. Metlife had a return on equity of 9.53% and a net margin of 7.62%. The firm had revenue of $16.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.88 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.09 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts forecast that Metlife Inc will post 5.28 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 6th will be given a dividend of $0.42 per share. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.77%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 5th. Metlife’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.33%.

Metlife declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, November 1st that allows the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase up to 4.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Chairman Steven A. Kandarian sold 85,683 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.93, for a total transaction of $4,021,103.19. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 585,005 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $27,454,284.65. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Steven A. Kandarian sold 42,805 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total value of $2,013,119.15. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 559,097 shares in the company, valued at $26,294,331.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Cowen Prime Services LLC increased its holdings in shares of Metlife by 19.8% in the second quarter. Cowen Prime Services LLC now owns 6,650 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $290,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares during the period. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. increased its holdings in shares of Metlife by 2.1% in the second quarter. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. now owns 54,305 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,368,000 after purchasing an additional 1,124 shares during the period. Trust Co. of Vermont grew its holdings in Metlife by 30.6% during the second quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 5,160 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $225,000 after acquiring an additional 1,209 shares during the period. BTR Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Metlife by 0.7% during the third quarter. BTR Capital Management Inc. now owns 174,635 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $8,159,000 after acquiring an additional 1,261 shares during the period. Finally, Independent Advisor Alliance grew its holdings in Metlife by 4.7% during the second quarter. Independent Advisor Alliance now owns 28,018 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,004,000 after acquiring an additional 1,265 shares during the period. 77.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Metlife (NYSE:MET)

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.

See Also: Buyback

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