Prudential Financial Inc. Acquires 866,060 Shares of Metlife Inc (MET)

Prudential Financial Inc. grew its holdings in Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) by 23.3% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 4,581,324 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 866,060 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc.’s holdings in Metlife were worth $214,040,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Zacks Investment Management boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Zacks Investment Management now owns 1,028,957 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $44,863,000 after purchasing an additional 9,409 shares during the period. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Metlife during the 2nd quarter worth about $21,849,000. Lau Associates LLC purchased a new position in shares of Metlife during the 3rd quarter worth about $439,000. Cozad Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Metlife during the 2nd quarter worth about $245,000. Finally, Tiedemann Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Metlife during the 2nd quarter worth about $308,000. 77.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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

Shares of MET opened at $46.13 on Wednesday. Metlife Inc has a 1-year low of $39.31 and a 1-year high of $55.21. The stock has a market cap of $44.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.25, a P/E/G ratio of 0.67 and a beta of 1.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.14 and a quick ratio of 0.14.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.27 by $0.11. Metlife had a net margin of 7.62% and a return on equity of 9.76%. The company had revenue of $16.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.88 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.09 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts forecast that Metlife Inc will post 5.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Metlife announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, November 1st that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to buy up to 4.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.42 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 5th. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.64%. Metlife’s payout ratio is 37.33%.

MET has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Sandler O’Neill reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Metlife in a research note on Thursday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Metlife from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on shares of Metlife from $67.00 to $63.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, August 17th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of Metlife in a research note on Thursday, September 27th. Finally, UBS Group lifted their price target on shares of Metlife from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, October 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Metlife presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $54.00.

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Metlife Profile

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.

Featured Article: Institutional Investors

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Metlife (NYSE:MET)

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