Today: FBR & Co Downgraded MetLife Inc. (MET) to Mkt Perform

Today: FBR & Co Downgraded MetLife Inc. (MET) to Mkt Perform

MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET) was downgraded by FBR & Co from an “outperform” rating to a “mkt perform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, StockTargetPrices.com reports. They currently have a $54.00 target price on the stock. FBR & Co’s price objective indicates a potential downside of 2.61% from the stock’s current price.

Several other analysts have also commented on MET. TheStreet lowered shares of MetLife from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 24th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of MetLife in a research report on Wednesday, September 7th. Wells Fargo & Co. restated an “outperform” rating on shares of MetLife in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. Credit Suisse Group AG assumed coverage on shares of MetLife in a research report on Friday, October 7th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $51.00 price target for the company. Finally, Bank of America Corp. set a $51.00 price target on shares of MetLife and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $51.35.

Shares of MetLife (NYSE:MET) opened at 55.45 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $60.95 billion, a PE ratio of 17.04 and a beta of 1.66. MetLife has a 12 month low of $35.00 and a 12 month high of $55.49. The company’s 50-day moving average is $49.49 and its 200-day moving average is $44.38.

MetLife (NYSE:MET) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.04. MetLife had a net margin of 5.58% and a return on equity of 6.99%. The business earned $17.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $17.03 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.62 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 99.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that MetLife will post $4.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 13th. Investors of record on Monday, November 7th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 3rd. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. MetLife’s payout ratio is presently 49.23%.

In other MetLife news, EVP Frans Hijkoop sold 56,250 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.48, for a total value of $2,895,750.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 111,813 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,756,133.24. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Maria R. Morris sold 2,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.33, for a total transaction of $104,126.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 109,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,197,259.97. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Dodge & Cox increased its stake in shares of MetLife by 26.4% in the second quarter. Dodge & Cox now owns 39,133,326 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,558,680,000 after buying an additional 8,185,247 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in shares of MetLife by 10.1% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 38,433,688 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,530,815,000 after buying an additional 3,530,969 shares during the period. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of MetLife during the second quarter worth $123,072,000. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in shares of MetLife during the second quarter worth $114,322,000. Finally, Svenska Handelsbanken AB publ increased its stake in shares of MetLife by 83.7% in the third quarter. Svenska Handelsbanken AB publ now owns 4,545,148 shares of the company’s stock worth $201,941,000 after buying an additional 2,070,652 shares during the period. 74.19% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc (MetLife) is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include Retail; Group, Voluntary & Worksite Benefits; Corporate Benefit Funding; Latin America (collectively, the Americas); Asia, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

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