Investors Sell Shares of Metlife (MET) on Strength (MET)

Investors sold shares of Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) on strength during trading hours on Wednesday. $32.24 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $86.93 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $54.69 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Metlife had the 18th highest net out-flow for the day. Metlife traded up $0.06 for the day and closed at $45.79

A number of brokerages have issued reports on MET. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Metlife from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $55.91 to $61.00 in a research note on Monday, June 4th. ValuEngine downgraded Metlife from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Metlife from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, May 10th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Metlife in a research note on Tuesday, May 8th. Finally, Deutsche Bank cut their target price on Metlife from $51.00 to $48.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, May 4th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $56.81.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30, a current ratio of 0.15 and a quick ratio of 0.15. The stock has a market capitalization of $47.40 billion, a PE ratio of 10.18, a PEG ratio of 0.80 and a beta of 1.19.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 2nd. The financial services provider reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $15.15 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.52 billion. Metlife had a return on equity of 8.70% and a net margin of 6.48%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.20 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Metlife Inc will post 5.07 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 13th. Investors of record on Monday, May 7th were given a dividend of $0.42 per share. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.67%. This is an increase from Metlife’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 4th. Metlife’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.33%.

Metlife announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, May 22nd that allows the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase up to 3.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Metlife news, Director Gerald L. Hassell acquired 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 9th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $46.18 per share, with a total value of $461,800.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.34% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. First Fiduciary Investment Counsel Inc. grew its position in Metlife by 3.1% in the 4th quarter. First Fiduciary Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 316,150 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $15,985,000 after acquiring an additional 9,465 shares in the last quarter. Snow Capital Management LP grew its position in Metlife by 4.7% in the 4th quarter. Snow Capital Management LP now owns 1,204,905 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $60,920,000 after acquiring an additional 53,883 shares in the last quarter. Griffin Asset Management Inc. grew its position in Metlife by 10.7% in the 4th quarter. Griffin Asset Management Inc. now owns 81,776 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,135,000 after acquiring an additional 7,916 shares in the last quarter. Providence Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Metlife in the 1st quarter valued at about $1,666,000. Finally, Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc. grew its position in Metlife by 4.9% in the 4th quarter. Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc. now owns 194,950 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $9,856,000 after acquiring an additional 9,020 shares in the last quarter. 77.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

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