MetLife, Inc. (MET) Downgraded by Sandler O’Neill

Sandler O’Neill lowered shares of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday, Marketbeat reports.

MET has been the subject of several other reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) initiated coverage on shares of MetLife in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a conviction-buy rating and a $61.00 price objective for the company. Langen Mcalenn reissued a buy rating on shares of MetLife in a research report on Wednesday, August 16th. B. Riley reissued a neutral rating on shares of MetLife in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a buy rating on shares of MetLife in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of MetLife from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. MetLife presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $58.40.

MetLife (NYSE:MET) opened at $52.16 on Friday. MetLife has a 52 week low of $44.26 and a 52 week high of $55.91. The company has a current ratio of 0.16, a quick ratio of 0.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31. The company has a market cap of $54,930.01, a PE ratio of 10.04, a P/E/G ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 1.51.

MetLife (NYSE:MET) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.09 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.90 by $0.19. MetLife had a negative net margin of 0.75% and a positive return on equity of 8.81%. The firm had revenue of $16.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.47 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.28 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that MetLife will post 4.43 earnings per share for the current year.

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MetLife announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, November 1st that permits the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 13th. Investors of record on Monday, November 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 3rd. MetLife’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -320.00%.

In related news, insider Christopher G. Townsend sold 55,712 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.29, for a total transaction of $3,024,604.48. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 25,181 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,367,076.49. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Christopher G. Townsend sold 82,731 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.60, for a total transaction of $4,517,112.60. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 49,660 shares in the company, valued at $2,711,436. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of MetLife by 2.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 69,957,359 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,843,457,000 after buying an additional 1,481,489 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in MetLife by 2.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 66,723,143 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,665,769,000 after purchasing an additional 1,358,523 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in MetLife by 1.4% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 49,020,964 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,589,297,000 after purchasing an additional 680,903 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in MetLife by 1.6% during the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 25,704,204 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,412,189,000 after purchasing an additional 414,032 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its position in MetLife by 208.5% during the third quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 10,291,110 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $534,623,000 after purchasing an additional 6,954,917 shares during the last quarter. 74.00% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); MetLife Holdings, and Corporate & Other. Its U.S. segment is organized into Group Benefits, Retirement and Income Solutions and Property & Casualty businesses.

Analyst Recommendations for MetLife (NYSE:MET)

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