Metlife (MET) Lowered to Hold at Sandler O’Neill

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Sandler O’Neill cut shares of Metlife (NYSE:MET) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning, Marketbeat reports. Sandler O’Neill currently has $50.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

MET has been the subject of a number of other reports. Royal Bank of Canada cut their price objective on Metlife from $57.00 to $50.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Monday, December 17th. ValuEngine raised Metlife from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 16th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Metlife from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, January 21st. Argus reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Metlife in a research report on Tuesday, February 12th. Finally, Bank of America raised Metlife from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $44.06 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, January 16th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $52.92.

Shares of NYSE:MET opened at $41.79 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 0.14 and a quick ratio of 0.14. The stock has a market cap of $41.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.93 and a beta of 1.20. Metlife has a 12-month low of $37.76 and a 12-month high of $48.92.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 6th. The financial services provider reported $1.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $15.40 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.84 billion. Metlife had a return on equity of 10.24% and a net margin of 7.53%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.64 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Metlife will post 5.48 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 13th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 5th were given a $0.42 dividend. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.02%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, February 4th. Metlife’s dividend payout ratio is currently 31.17%.

In other Metlife news, CFO John D. Mccallion sold 2,669 shares of Metlife stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.43, for a total value of $118,583.67. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 20,538 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $912,503.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Steven J. Goulart sold 10,292 shares of Metlife stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.40, for a total value of $456,964.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 93,214 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,138,701.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Belpointe Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 169.9% in the 4th quarter. Belpointe Asset Management LLC now owns 14,593 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $599,000 after buying an additional 9,187 shares during the period. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Metlife in the 4th quarter valued at about $274,580,000. Actinver Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Metlife in the 4th quarter valued at about $468,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new position in shares of Metlife in the 4th quarter valued at about $801,000. Finally, B.S. Pension Fund Trustee Ltd acting for the British Steel Pension Fund purchased a new position in shares of Metlife in the 4th quarter valued at about $376,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.22% of the company’s stock.

About Metlife

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.

Further Reading: Cost of Capital Explained

Analyst Recommendations for Metlife (NYSE:MET)

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