ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. Sells 68,495 Shares of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET)

ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. decreased its position in MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET) by 15.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 376,445 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 68,495 shares during the period. MetLife accounts for 1.6% of ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 23rd largest position. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in MetLife were worth $19,884,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of MetLife during the first quarter worth $107,000. First Personal Financial Services boosted its position in shares of MetLife by 11.5% in the first quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 2,588 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 266 shares during the period. First Mercantile Trust Co. acquired a new position in shares of MetLife during the first quarter worth $149,000. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of MetLife by 15.0% in the first quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 2,847 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 372 shares during the period. Finally, CI Investments Inc. acquired a new position in shares of MetLife during the first quarter worth $158,000. 74.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MetLife, Inc. (MET) opened at 55.53 on Wednesday. The firm’s market cap is $59.75 billion. The company’s 50 day moving average is $51.91 and its 200 day moving average is $52.97. MetLife, Inc. has a 12-month low of $38.86 and a 12-month high of $58.09.

MetLife (NYSE:MET) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 3rd. The financial services provider reported $1.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.19. MetLife had a negative net margin of 0.95% and a positive return on equity of 7.57%. The business had revenue of $16.27 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $17.02 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.20 EPS. MetLife’s quarterly revenue was down 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that MetLife, Inc. will post $5.40 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 13th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 7th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.88%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 3rd. MetLife’s dividend payout ratio is -258.06%.

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MET has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of MetLife in a research report on Wednesday. ValuEngine upgraded shares of MetLife from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “buy” rating on shares of MetLife in a research report on Saturday, July 1st. BidaskClub upgraded shares of MetLife from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. set a $51.00 price target on shares of MetLife and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, July 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $56.43.

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; Brighthouse Financial, and Corporate & Other. Its U.S. segment is organized into Group Benefits, Retirement and Income Solutions and Property & Casualty businesses.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for MetLife (NYSE:MET)

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