Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) Short Interest Up 41.4% in August

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Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 12,973,500 shares, an increase of 41.4% from the July 31st total of 9,173,300 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 4,900,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.6 days. Currently, 1.6% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Kavar Capital Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Metlife in the second quarter valued at about $25,000. Motco lifted its holdings in shares of Metlife by 160.6% in the second quarter. Motco now owns 516 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 318 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Alpha LLC bought a new stake in shares of Metlife in the first quarter valued at about $27,000. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Metlife by 4,407.7% in the first quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 586 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $25,000 after purchasing an additional 573 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Meridian Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Metlife in the first quarter valued at about $26,000. Institutional investors own 75.62% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on the company. Barclays boosted their target price on Metlife from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 22nd. ValuEngine cut Metlife from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their target price on Metlife from $55.00 to $57.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 11th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Metlife from $54.00 to $53.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 20th. Finally, Citigroup decreased their target price on Metlife from $42.00 to $41.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a research note on Friday. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Metlife currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.61.

NYSE:MET traded up $0.50 on Friday, reaching $48.37. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,318,201 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,348,783. Metlife has a 1-year low of $37.76 and a 1-year high of $51.16. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a quick ratio of 0.14 and a current ratio of 0.14. The firm has a market cap of $44.41 billion, a PE ratio of 8.97, a PEG ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 1.11. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $46.44 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $46.78.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.31 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $16.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $16.43 billion. Metlife had a return on equity of 9.75% and a net margin of 9.28%. The company’s revenue was down 22.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.30 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Metlife will post 5.65 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 13th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 6th will be issued a $0.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 5th. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.64%. Metlife’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.65%.

Metlife Company 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.

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